Hamilton health officials have lifted a requirement for public school students to prove they’ve completed a daily COVID-19 screening to attend class.

In a statement, a public health spokesperson said low case counts in general and among the student body across the city precipitated a move to omit screenings through attestation calendars or the green check mark from the online screening tool.

“With COVID-19 cases and key trends remaining low in our community, Hamilton Public Health Services is cautiously lifting the need for students to complete in-school validation of the results from the provincial screening tool,” said James Berry.

“Note that students, teachers, school staff and visitors must continue to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 every day before going to school using the province’s screening tool.”

Spokespeople for both the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the Catholic Board confirmed the change in screenings and guardians will receive more information on Tuesday through a school update.

In late August, the province required children to stay home from school or daycare should their daily screening reveal fever and chills, cough or barking cough, shortness of breath, losing taste or smell and nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Parents are required to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms everyday before they arrive at school and complete an attestation form to confirm their status.

As of Monday, Hamilton’s public schools combined have had a total of 29 cases in the last 14 days, 26 of them with students.

There have been just three cases among staff over the same period.

Of the four school outbreaks in the city, just two are with the HWDSB at Bennetto Elementary School in central Hamilton and Viola Desmond Elementary School in the east end.

Each school has two cases involving students.

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