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A guide to COVID-19 school outbreak protocols across Canada

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Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 across Canada have been back in class for a few weeks now — but that doesn’t mean a complete return to normal, as some schools report COVID-19 outbreaks among students and staff.

While every province and territory defines the term “outbreak” differently, all have released plans that outline how public health officials will help schools manage an outbreak on a case-by-case basis.

“There needs to be school-by-school decisions that are made based on the information that is available,” said Dr. Jesse Papenburg, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Papenburg said that the timing of cases, the age of affected individuals and the location and the nature of exposure between students are all factors to be considered when developing outbreak and case management protocols.

“That differs from one school to the next — it really does.”

CBC News has compiled school outbreak protocols from each of the provinces and territories.

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