The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has updated its class order for self-isolation to include minors. 

The move comes in light of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases amongst children and youth and to minimize infection rates in school settings.

The ten-day self-isolation rule now applies to anyone 18 years and younger who aren’t fully vaccinated and is living in the same house with an unimmunized person who has been identified as close contact. 

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner calls this an additional public health measure to decrease the number of asymptomatic children entering the schools, which in turn will protect more student cohorts and minimize learning disruptions due to COVID-19.

As of yesterday (Tuesday), the health unit reports about 25 percent of local COVID-19 cases are in children under 12 years of age, who until this week have been ineligible for immunization. 

Of all school-aged cases in the region, the agency shares approximately 50 percent are the result of close contact in the household.