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Illness in schools

We all have a part to play in keeping one another safe. Edmonton Public Schools is keeping health and safety measures in place that help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

These measures work together to protect students and staff. 



Though masks are a personal choice, wearing one can help keep you from getting sick. It also helps protect other people from being exposed to your germs.

While we encourage using a mask in school, individual choices about whether to wear one will be respected.

Schools have masks for staff or students who forget theirs, but want to wear one. Students can pick one up at the office.


Students and staff are encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands throughout the day, including:

  • when entering the school
  • before eating
  • whenever they are using shared equipment

Schools have hand sanitizer at entrances to the school and other commonly accessed areas, such as the library, main office and cafeteria.


Schools continue to follow COVID-19 cleaning guidelines. This includes:

  • frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces like handrails, door handles and water fountains
  • use of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for shared equipment


Schools have a designated sick room for students or staff who become ill while at school. If your child becomes sick at school, they will be sent to a sick room and you will be asked to come and pick them up. Students in the sick room are encouraged to wear a mask while they wait to be picked up.


One of the most effective ways to keep one another healthy and safe is to stay home when sick. Families, students and staff are asked to monitor for symptoms of illness before coming to school and work. If you feel sick, please stay home.


Throughout the pandemic, the Division has taken a number of steps to support air quality, which include:

  • changing filters more often
  • extending the run time of our systems
  • maximizing fresh-air intake
  • inspecting the systems more often
  • installing the highest quality filter possible for each system (including MERV-13 filters wherever possible)
  • providing portable air filtration (HEPA) units for every classroom and learning space in the Division
    • HEPA filters will be turned on when students and staff are in the room
    • the Division follows the manufacturers’ recommendations in replacing the filters in the units


If your child tests positive for COVID-19, we encourage you to let your school know so that staff can track student absence rates accurately.


To help parents understand what’s happening inside their child’s school, we report on the number of students absent due to general illness or self-reported cases of COVID-19. To see current absence rates and to learn more about how we respond when illness absences are high, visit our COVID-19 and illness cases page.