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Runny nose, stay home? Canada schools debate how to act on common cold symptoms

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Just four days into the new school year, Trevor Boutilier’s five-year-old son was sent home from his Ottawa kindergarten with a runny nose and slight cough, and told to stay away until he’d had a COVID-19 test and was symptom free.

FILE PHOTO: A teacher helps a student close his personal hand sanitizer as he arrives for the first time since the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School, part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

The local testing center was overrun, so Boutilier drove his son miles out of the city to a small town for the test. They waited for four days for the result, which came back negative.

By then, his son, who suffers seasonal allergies, had been symptom free for days and missed nearly a week

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