Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 13 Durham

COVID-19 Updates

Covid 19 Updates - Updated November 27, 2020

Steps to Take for a Possible Exposure or Symptoms Develop

This is going to be a very difficult year for many families. So it is very important to understand the protocols before situations occur so that you can be prepared. Review the protocols below so that if things should come up, you will know what to do.


Coding due to COVID

Effective November 27, 2020






No symptoms, Isolating,

CANNOT work from home

Morning classes needing a supply teacher to replace you

034 Quarantine

Full salary


CANNOT work from home

Morning classes needing a supply teacher to replace you



Sick days at 100% or 90% pay,

See below for documentation details

Symptoms or No symptoms,

CAN work from home

Afternoon virtual classes and online assistance periods where teaching is done remotely



(Not an actual absence)

Full salary as you are working during this time;

This appears to be a tracking mechanism rather than an absence code

Please note that all arrangements for absences and working from home must be coordinated with your Principal.  It is only your Principal who is able to change your absence to the Quarantine code.  Otherwise, absences will be under sick leave.

Documentation for sick days due to COVID:

If you have symptoms, your absence will be sick leave.  You are advised to contact the Ability Management Department at shortterm.absence@ddsb.ca or (905) 666-6119/(905) 666-6112 to discuss your situation.  If they are aware of your absence from the beginning, and have discussed it and tracked it with you, then you will not be required to provide the Abilities Form from your doctor to support your absence if it extends beyond two days.  If, however, you are not in touch with Ability Management and your absence extends beyond two days, you will be expected to provide a suitably completed Abilities Form.  Please note that the onus is on you to provide the form, not on the Board to request it.  This means that the Board could ask for the form months after the fact and you would be expected to provide it or else have the pay for those days clawed back.


To be clear, for any COVID-related absence or alternate arrangements, you must contact your Principal.  If you have COVID symptoms, you have to also contact Ability Management in the first day or two.

If your child has symptoms of COVID:

If your child is symptomatic and you think you might have an exposure, contact your principal/attendance secretary and indicate that you have a potential exposure and that you will be home awaiting instructions from the Durham Region Health Department.  During this time, you will be isolating and will fall under the appropriate categories in the chart above.  Call the Durham Region Health Department for instructions about next steps for yourself and your child given your situation. (You can wait on hold or leave your number and they will call you back. This could take up to 24 hours.) Indicate to the school that you will be able to continue working while at home so you will only require a half-day morning supply teacher. (You should be able to continue to run your afternoon online class on your own, and for the morning class, the supply teacher will be there but you can provide lessons, materials and marking). Enter your absence on SFE as “Illness”. Please speak with your principal as noted above to have the absence code changed to quarantine after the fact.

What happens next will depend on what the health department says:

1. If the health department determines that you require a COVID test, then you will remain off work under isolation until you are cleared. Update your principal/attendance secretary and SFE about your status.
2. If the health department determines that you are ok to return to work, then you are no longer under isolation. As well, if you are instructed to be tested and receive a negative COVID test before your child is cleared, then this becomes a childcare issue not a COVID one. You will not be paid for absences relating to childcare. See instructions in the next paragraph.

If you have childcare issues:

If you are faced with a childcare issue and you cannot be at work, you would ordinarily not be paid. (Please note that sick days would not apply since you are not the one who is sick. Using sick days due to a sick child is not an appropriate use of sick days.) However, during the pandemic, the Board is allowing people to continue to work from home as with the quarantine days and will therefore only require unpaid days in half day increments. As well, in the Permanent Teacher collective agreement, there are up to three paid days (or six half days) per school year combined for special or compassionate reasons. It is an application process not an automatic granting, so you must provide information to the Board conveying the situation in the comment box. You will apply on the Portal under Quick Links→ Employee Self Serve → HRP Link (Forms Online) (middle of screen) → Forms Online → Leave of Absence → Reason for Absence: 028 Leave for Compassionate Reasons. If you have exhausted all of the paid Compassionate Days, you can apply for unpaid days on the portal under Reason for Absence: 090 Unpaid (Short Term) Less than 10 days.

If YOU develop symptoms of COVID:

If YOU develop symptoms of COVID, you will follow the same steps regarding the exposure of your child as in the paragraph above. The only difference is that your absence will be coded as sick leave rather than quarantine. Also, since you have been COVID symptomatic, the Board requires you to have a negative COVID test and be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to work. See the earlier paragraph titled “Documentation for Sick Days due to COVID” for details.

If you are sick for any reason other than COVID

If you are sick/injured for reasons other than COVID and are completely unable to work, you will access sick leave like any other year. If your absence is longer than 2 days, you will also be required to provide an Abilities Form from your doctor to support your absence. The Abilities Form is available at 
www.d13.osstf.ca/AbilitiesForm. Send your completed Abilities Form to ShortTerm.Absence@ddsb.ca .

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