The Near North District School Board is one among many boards preparing their students for a safe return to school on January 5.
The Board confirmed in an email to parents that students will be asked to bring home rapid antigen tests before the end of the week for the Christmas break.
"It is recommended that students conduct rapid antigen tests every three to four days over the holiday break, beginning December 23, until all five tests have been used," stated Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a letter to the School Board.
"These tests are simple, safe, easy to use and allow you to know the outcome within 15 minutes. Please view the video to learn more about at-home rapid antigen testing.
"Participation in this rapid antigen testing program is entirely voluntary, but we know that rapid antigen testing is another way that we can help limit the spread of COVID-19 and support a safer return to school after the holidays."
Students should only use these tests if they are asymptomatic (they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19) and have not been exposed to a confirmed case. Anyone who has symptoms, or is identified as a close contact of a case, should follow public health advice and get a PCR test for COVID-19. While testing is important, vaccines remain our best defence and eligible Ontarians aged five and up can book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment now.
"This Christmas and holiday season, I encourage you to safely enjoy your time with family and friends so that we can continue to keep schools open for students," Lecce continued.