COVID-19 Update

The number of confirmed cases in Southern Ontario Collegiate


If you have exposed to COVID-19, please stay home and contact us as soon as possible.

Please download COVID Alert app to receive a notification of possible exposure.

If you are entering Canada while unvaccinated, please follow this guide.

Latest Announcements

November 14, 2022

Update from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Recommendation that masks be worn in all indoor public settings

14 November 2022

Following today’s update from Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Ontario, Southern Ontario Collegiate is sharing his recommendation that staff and students wear masks inside the school, on public transportation and in larger spaces such as shopping centres and gyms.  CBC news reported that

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is “strongly recommending” that Ontarians wear masks in all indoor public settings, including in schools and in childcare settings.

At a news conference on Monday, Dr. Kieran Moore said the province’s health system is facing “extraordinary pressures” with the ongoing circulation of COVID-19, the earlier than normal rise in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), as well as influenza.

I’m asking Ontarians to get your flu shot as soon as possible, [to] protect themselves and those around them,” Moore added.

Masking is recommended but is not mandatory at this time at Southern Ontario Collegiate, as a measure against rapid spread of seasonal viruses.  Please contact Alison Currie, Principal of Southern Ontario Collegiate if you have any questions.

Southern Ontario Collegiate

28 Rebecca Street

Hamilton, Ontario L8R 1B4

October 13, 2022

All Ontarians Aged 12+ Eligible for Bivalent Booster

Flu Shots Available Starting November 1st

October 13, 2022


Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  3. Additional Resources
  4. Related Topics

TORONTO — With Health Canada approval of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine, everyone aged 12 and over is eligible to get a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose starting Monday, October 17 if they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series. The Ontario government is reminding people to stay up-to-date with their vaccines as we enter respiratory illness season.

It is also important to get your annual flu shot. Starting November 1, flu shots will be available through your health care provider, public health unit and in participating pharmacies. Flu shots may safely be given at the same time, or at any time before or after COVID-19 vaccine. Find out more at­.

“The colder weather is here which means an increase in respiratory illnesses,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Getting vaccinated remains the best defence against the flu and COVID-19 to help keep Ontarians healthy and out of hospitals. This will also ensure the province can continue its efforts to keep Ontario and its businesses open.”

As Ontario receives its first shipments of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine from the federal government this week, Ontarians aged 12 to 17 will be able to receive their booster on Monday, October 17. Appointments can be booked now through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre (PVCC) at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating health care providers and participating pharmacies.

“We are entering into the fall season where traditionally we see a rise in cases of respiratory illness, including COVID-19,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Vaccines improve your immune response and reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and post-infection symptoms. We recommend Ontarians stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations at the appropriate interval since their last dose, and get an annual flu shot when it becomes available.”

In addition to getting vaccinated, those over 60 years of age can also access antiviral treatments such as Paxlovid if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Learn more about COVID-19 treatments and review your eligibility by using Ontario’s antiviral screener tool, speaking with your health care provider or calling 811.

To help keep everyone as healthy as possible this fall and winter season, Ontarians should stay home when they are feeling sick and continue to practise good hand hygiene.

Quick Facts

  • Publicly funded PCR testing remains accessible for high-risk individuals including as a qualifier for accessing antiviral treatment such as Paxlovid.
  • Getting a booster dose restores protection, as evidence shows vaccine protection decreases over time.
  • Boosters are particularly important for high-risk individuals, who should receive the booster three months after their last dose. Most Ontarians under the age of 65 should receive their booster dose at the recommended six-month interval. However, you can choose to book your next appointment three months after your last dose. All individuals aged 12 and over are eligible for a bivalent booster, which better protects against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants.
  • Individuals aged five years and older can receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as, or at any time before or after any other vaccines, including the flu shot. Children between six months and under five years are recommended to wait 14 days before or after the administration of another vaccine before getting their COVID-19 vaccine.
  • For questions about eligibility or booking a COVID-19 vaccine, speak with your health care provider or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007) to speak to a health specialist.
  • For additional questions about vaccination, visit the VaxFacts Clinic to speak with a qualified Scarborough Health Network doctor or the SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids Registered Nurse. More information on COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth can be found here.
  • For more information about treatment options for COVID-19, contact your primary care provider, visit a clinical assessment centre, or call Health Connect Ontario at 811 or 1-866-797-0007 (toll-free TTY) for more information on treatments, assistance, or eligibility for virtual care options.

Additional Resources

Related Topics


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September 26, 2022 – Government of Canada COVID-19 travel UPDATE

News release

September 26, 2022 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken a layered approach to border management to protect the health and safety of Canadians. As the pandemic situation has continued to evolve, adjustments to border measures have been informed by the latest evidence, available data, operational considerations, and the epidemiological situation, both in Canada and internationally. Today the Government of Canada announced the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022.

The removal of border measures has been facilitated by a number of factors, including modelling that indicates that Canada has largely passed the peak of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 fuelled wave, Canada’s high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates, as well as the availability and use of vaccine boosters (including new bivalent formulation), rapid tests, and treatments for COVID-19.

Effective October 1, 2022, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • provide proof of vaccination;
  • undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.

Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements. As of October 1, 2022, travellers will no longer be required to:

  • undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
  • wear masks on planes and trains.

Although the masking requirement is being lifted, all travellers are strongly recommended to wear high quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys.

Cruise measures are also being lifted, and travellers will no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN. A set of guidelines will remain to protect passengers and crew, which will align with the approach used in the United States.

Individuals are reminded that they should not travel if they have symptoms of COVID-19. If travellers become sick while travelling, and are still sick when they arrive in Canada, they should inform a flight attendant, cruise staff, or a border services officer upon arrival. They may then be referred to a quarantine officer who will decide whether the traveller needs further medical assessment as COVID-19 remains one of many communicable diseases listed in the Quarantine Act.

The Government of Canada also reminds travellers to make informed decisions when considering travel outside of Canada to protect their health and safety. They are encouraged to review the travel advice at for more information on safe travel.

Canadians can continue to do their part to protect themselves and others, and reduce the spread of COVID-19, by getting vaccinated and boosted, using high quality and well-fitted masks where appropriate, self-isolating if they have symptoms and self-testing if they can.


“Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border. However, we expect COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the cold months, so I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses and exercise individual public health measures. I also thank the dedicated public health officers and frontline staff at our land borders and airports who have worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of people in Canada for the last two years.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Canada’s travel measures successfully mitigated the full impact of COVID-19 for travellers and workers in the transportation sector, and helped keep communities safe. Thanks to Canadians who rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated, we are able to take this great step towards easing measures and returning to normal.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“Since the start, our Government has taken the necessary steps to keep Canadians safe in the face of a global pandemic. COVID-19 border measures were always meant to be temporary and we are making adjustments based on the current situation because that’s what Canadians expect. I want to thank CBSA officers who are at the front line facilitating travel, supporting our economy, and ensuring the safety and security of our communities.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Safety

Quick facts

  • Travellers must follow any provincial or territorial COVID-19 requirements as applicable. Foreign nationals must still meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation as necessary.
  • Air carriers will no longer need to validate that travellers have entered information in ArriveCAN before boarding.
  • As of October 1, 2022, travellers who entered Canada in the 14 days prior to October 1, 2022, will not be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine or isolation, or complete their testing requirements.
  • While travellers will no longer have to submit their quarantine and vaccination information through ArriveCAN, they can continue to use the optional Advance Declaration feature in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website) to save time at the airport by submitting their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival.
    • This feature is currently available to travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, or Montréal-Trudeau international airports and will expand to the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City, and Halifax international airports in the coming months.
  • Early data shows that using the Advance CBSA Declaration in ArriveCAN cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third, and over 30% of travellers arriving at the airports are already using it.
  • The CBSA will continue to make technology available at the border to speed up traveller entry and enhance the safety and security of Canadians. For example, CBSA is exploring other optional ArriveCAN features to provide travellers with easy access to information such as border wait times, and other self-serve functions. This will be expanded to travellers by land so they can make use of available technology to expedite and facilitate their travel.

Associated links

For More Information

January 3, 2022 – Update from the Principal

In keeping with today’s announcement by the government of Ontario, Southern Ontario Collegiate’s administrative and academic staff will be working remotely effective Wednesday January 5, 2022. 

Semester 2 classes will begin on Monday January 17, and all classes will be delivered via remote for learning for all students until further notice.

These changes reflect Ontario’s return to Stage 2 of the Covid management strategy.  Please contact [email protected] if you require any information around school operations or if you have any questions.

We look forward to a return to in-school learning later in January.


Alison Currie

December 31, 2021 – Update from the Principal

We wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.

In keeping with the recent guidelines around Covid 19 from the province of Ontario, Southern Ontario Collegiate’s administrative staff and teachers will be working in the school effective Wednesday January 5 and can be reached by email.

Classes for semester 2 will now begin on Monday January 10 for all remote and onsite students. 

As the province has identified, this small change will enable schools to ensure a safe and smooth beginning to the semester.

Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions.


Alison Currie

December 30, 2021 – Important COVID-19 Updates from the Province of Ontario

Updated Testing and Isolation Guidelines in Response to Omicron

Today, the province announced it is updating testing and isolation guidelines to protect our most vulnerable and maintain the stability of critical workforces. These updates follow recent changes in other jurisdictions in Canada and the United Kingdom. These changes come into effect Friday, December 31, 2021

Update to Testing:
Publicly-funded PCR testing will be available only for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms are asked not to seek testing. A full list of eligible individuals can be found here.

In addition, most individuals with a positive result from a rapid antigen test will no longer be required or encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular test.

Update to Isolation Guidelines:

Ontario is also changing the required isolation period based on growing evidence that generally healthy people with COVID-19 are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.

Individuals with COVID-19 who are vaccinated, as well as children under 12, will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms. Their household contacts are also required to isolate with them. Please contact [email protected] if you require any information about school operations or if you have any questions. for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed. Non-household contacts are required to self-monitor for ten days.

Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised will be required to isolate for 10 days.

Click here to read the full announcement.

Further Reducing the Spread of COVID-19 in Larger Indoor Settings

Effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, December 31, 2021, Ontario is restricting spectator capacity to 50 percent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less, in the indoor areas of the following settings:

  • Spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., sporting events);
  • Concert venues; and
  • Theatres

The government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to lift capacity limits in these settings.

Reminder: Hamilton Public Health Services prioritizing focus on COVID-19 outbreaks in high-risk settings

Hamilton Public Health Services is prioritizing its staffing resources to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in high-risk settings to protect community members’ most vulnerable to severe outcomes of COVID-19.

High-risk settings will continue to be provided with infection prevention and control guidance by Hamilton Public Health Services staff and declared outbreaks will be published on the City of Hamilton’s Status of Cases dashboardThis change to focus staffing resources on high-risk settings means that Hamilton Public Health Services will no longer be declaring new outbreaks associated with workplaces or community settings.

Hamilton Public Health Services are asking businesses, organizations and individuals to take measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 in these settings, and public health recommendations to support these efforts can be found here.

Click here to read the full announcement.

May 27, 2021


International Students who do not have an

Ontario Health Card may book a vaccine in Hamilton

by calling 905-974-9848Choose OPTION 7

The lines are open;

Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Saturday and Sunday   8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Further information can be found at

The vaccine is free

May 27, 2021

The Province of Ontario has instructed all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools to move to teacher-led remote learning effective April 15th

No time frame has been announced as to when in-school learning will return.   This decision was made in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, increasing risks from the COVID-19 variants, and the massive spike in hospital admissions.  As we receive information, we will post it on our website.

April 9, 2021

The province of Ontario has announced a new stay at home order around COVID-19. “Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.” At this point, schools in Hamilton are open, and we will update you on any changes as they are made.

February 18, 2021

Find out if you are able to travel safely to Canada.  Before you plan your flight, please check the government of Canada’s ARRIVECAN site:

February 16, 2021

The City of Hamilton is currently in Control Phase – Red.  For specific information on how this affects you, please go to:

February 10, 2021

International students applying for / or receiving visas to study in Canada:

SOC’s COVID-19 plan has been approved by the Ontario Ministry of Education and we are operating in accordance with that approved plan.  Accordingly, Southern Ontario Collegiate is authorized to provide in-person teaching for international students in the 2020-21 school year.

For additional information, see

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the safety of all students and staff, we continue to follow all current government guidelines; all students arriving from outside Canada are required to quarantine for a duration of 14 days. Our Covid 19 plan enables us to make your quarantine safe and comfortable.

Please contact us at [email protected] for detailed procedures and information required before you plan your travel to Canada, or if you have any questions.

February 5, 2021

Click here for the travel guidelines for students flying to Canada.

Southern Ontario Collegiate will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021. The extension was announced as part of the province’s new emergency measures to address the COVID-19 crisis.  We will update our site as more information becomes available.

January 28, 2021

Southern Ontario Collegiate will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021. The extension was announced as part of the province’s new emergency measures to address the COVID-19 crisis. We will update our site as more information becomes available.

March 16, 2020

Dear Parents and Friends,

As you are no doubt aware, Canada and the province of Ontario are taking strong action to maintain a broad public effort to slow transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 and avoid any kind of spike in cases that has swamped hospitals in other countries.

The vast majority of businesses, including those most vital to day-to-day life will not be affected. Grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, important public services, and office buildings will all continue to operate.  However, organized public gatherings of 50 people or more, including parades, events, and services in houses of worship have been cancelled for the next 14 days.

We know that this is a time of concern for all of you.  Please be assured that we will continue to support students in all areas of their daily lives.  Representatives of Southern Ontario Collegiate will visit each residence regularly.  There is no shortage of food.  We urge you to support school staff in reinforcing the importance of students continuing to follow a daily routine: getting up promptly for breakfast, being home for lunch, etc.

On Monday March 23, students will continue their classes, for the time being through e-learning rather than on-site.  Every effort is being made to ensure that learning continues and that students have the opportunity to continue to work towards achieving course credits.  Please reinforce this message that students will need to bring discipline and attention to their work.  Attendance will be taken on-line and students will be expected to submit work regularly.

The office of public health are reminding everyone that we are not under quarantine.  Students are urged to go outside, go for walks, play sports carefully; this is not the time for students to be reckless when playing football or other sports.

This is an unprecedented event.  We share your concerns and we will continue to do all we can to support all the young people in our care.  We will continue to be in touch with you.