COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Health-care Providers

Reopening: STEP 3

Effective July 16, 2021

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Long-term Care & Retirement Home Providers

Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes should contact their infectious disease representative at Lambton Public Health with any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.

View more information and guidelines for long-term care and retirement homes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to find up-to-date COVID-19 information for health-care providers?

The Ontario Ministry of Health has produced guidance documents on COVID-19 for a number of healthcare partners and sectors. Please review this page frequently as the guidance for the healthcare sector is updated regularly.

Public Health Ontario has compiled COVID-19 scientific data and technical information, general information, as well as resources for health professionals and specific settings. 

Ontario COVID-19 Data tool provides the most recent COVID-19 data including: daily case counts, hospitalizations and deaths (Case trends), total or recent cases counts by age and sex, map by public health unit, source of COVID-19 infection (acquisition), outbreaks and laboratory testing
 
Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long Term Care provides the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 Orders, Directives, Memorandums and Other Resources

What are the current infection prevention and control (IPAC) recommendations for COVID-19?

Public Health Ontario has developed an Infection Prevention and Control Assessment for Primary Care, Specialty and Walk-in Clinics during COVID-19, and updated IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID‑19.

Where can I access screening tools for COVID-19?

The Ontario Ministry of Health has a COVID-19 screening checklist to support Health Care Providers in their screening practices for all patients.There is an additional screening guidance document to support Long-term Care and Retirement Homes in their screening practices for residents.

The Ministry of Health also developed a COVID-19: self-assessment tool to help members of the public determine how to seek further care.

Passive screening in the form of signage is part of the guidance for health-care facilities. Signs are available to download for both patients and visitors. 

Who should be tested for COVID-19 and where?

For information on who should be tested and the management of those who have not been tested, review Provincial COVID-19 Testing guidance  from the Ministry of Health.
 
●     Ministry of Health COVID-19 Quick Reference for Testing and Clearance
●     Public Health Ontario COVID-19 testing information
●     For more information on locations, hours of testing centres, and booking appointments, see the Lambton Public Health COVID-19 testing web page.
●     Test requisition

Guidelines & tips for operating your primary care practice during COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has stated that all primary care providers are encouraged to implement virtual and/or telephone consultations when possible. When possible, conduct a phone consultation to determine if a virtual/telephone or in-person appointment is necessary. Ontario has approved new physician billing codes for telephone assessments, enabling doctors to conduct more assessments over the phone rather than in the clinic. Find more information about the reopening of primary care practices in the Ontario Ministry of Health guidance document for primary care providers.

A comprehensive guide for reopening your office is available from the Ontario Health South West Non-Hospital Pandemic Response Table. Additional tools can be found on the South West COVID Tools Website.

Guidance for providing immunization services during COVID-19 are available from the Ministry of Health.

Visit OntarioMD for resources and tips on how to provide virtual care.

When should health-care workers stay home?

If a Health Care Worker (HCW) develops any common and/or less common COVID-19 symptoms, whether prior to or during a shift, they should wash their hands, go home, immediately notify their supervisor, and self-isolate.
The Ontario Ministry of Health states that:
  • “Symptomatic HCWs awaiting testing results must be off work
  • Asymptomatic HCWs awaiting testing results may continue to work using the appropriate precautions recommended by the facility, which will depend on the reason for testing” 

When should health-care workers return to work?

The Ontario Ministry of Health has created two approaches to clearing COVID-19 cases:

Non-Test Based Approach – 
• waiting 10 days from symptom onset (or 14 days from when swab was taken if persistently asymptomatic).
• Waiting 20 days from symptom onset for those with severe illness (requiring ICU level of care or severe immune compromised)

This means waiting 10 days from symptom onset (or 14 days from when swab was taken if persistently asymptomatic).

Test Based Approach – This means obtaining two consecutive negative specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
 
Health Care Workers (HCWs) should follow isolation and clearance with a non-tested based approach unless they have required hospitalization during the course of their illness. If hospitalization occurred, a test based approach is preferred.
Symptomatic HCWs awaiting test results must be off from work. If a HCW is asymptomatic and awaiting a test result, they may continue to work as long as appropriate precautions recommended by the facility are used.

Please note that some HCWs may be directed to have a test based clearance by their employer.
A HCW that requires a referral for a second COVID-19 test to return to work should contact either their place of employment or their primary care provider.
 
For more information on when a HCW can return to work, including exceptional circumstances, please refer to page 4 of the Quick Reference Guidance on Testing and Clearance.

Where can patients access care for urgent medical needs other than the hospital?

Rapids Family Health Team Access to Care Centre continues to be open for episodic medical conditions (e.g., urinary tract infections, ear aches, rashes, etc.). If a patient is unwell and can’t get in touch with their primary care provider, they can access care during the following hours:
Monday thru Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday 8am-noon
CALL 519-491-6188

Good Doctors Clinics 
Patients can now visit with a doctor by calling (888) 930-6571 OR texting (705) 910-7799. Most common issues can be resolved directly through a phone or video call with a doctor from home.

Wiltshire Walk-In Clinic
Patients who would like to check-in to our walk-in clinic, please stay home and TEXT (519) 491-1922 with your name with the best phone number to reach you and we will contact you shortly when your turn is up.

MD Connected
Virtual appointments are now available to ALL residents of Ontario. Connect to a doctor from the comfort of home through the MD Connected app. It is available for download on Google Play or Apple Store with an invite from MD Connected. Visits can also be completed through a secure online portal.

Our OHIP-covered virtual services have been expanded to include: 
• COVID-19 Screening
• Dermatologist Consultation
• Pediatrician Consultation
• Mental Health Consultation
• Medical Cannabis Consultation
• HIV PrEP and PEP Consultation
• Ketamine Therapy for Depression

Dial-A-Doc
Dial-A-Doc provides OHIP covered phone appointments with Ontario doctors for various medical services to those who do not have a family doctor available. Prescriptions will be faxed to your local pharmacy.

I am concerned about my mental health, where can I find resources that can help me cope?

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has provided access to mental health and addiction supports for health care workers that may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are available here.

Vaccine information for Healthcare Providers

Health Canada has authorized Four COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen, and AstraZeneca vaccines.
 
As of Monday, July 5th, 2021, all Ontarians aged 12+ are eligible to book their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at an interval of 28 days or more.
 
In March 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech began a COVID-19 vaccine study in children 11 years to 6 month old.  If safety and immunogenicity is confirmed, and pending authorization or approval from regulators, the predicted timeline for submission for Emergency Use Authorization for children under 12 is sometime in September or October 2021.
 
For more information visit our COVID-19 vaccine page for updates.

Resources for in office vaccines

WEB MD provides COVaxOn Training for Primary Care Practices.
 
Health Canada has developed COVID-19 Vaccine-Relevant Information and Planning Resources for Health Care providers.

●      Prioritization Resources
●      Long-Term Care Home / Retirement Homes Resources
●      Health Care Provider Education Documents
●      General Immunization Documents for Patients
●      Youth Resources
●      General Immunization Documents for Immunizers and Vaccine Clinics
●      Consent for COVID-19 Vaccination Documents
●      Vaccine Hesitancy

Guidance for providing immunization services during COVID-19 are available from the Ministry of Health.

Resources

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