Peterborough Public Health message (Dec 31) outlining the changes to Ontario’s public health measures and guidance in response to the current Omicron surge.
Testing and Case and Contact Management Changes in Response to Omicron
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health shared new provincial guidance related to prioritization of eligibility for PCR Testing and Case and Contact Management in Ontario. The key points are as follows:
- Symptomatic PCR testing will be available for high-risk individuals, and individuals who work in high-risk health care settings (or other high-risk settings, such as congregate living settings).
- Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are presumed positive and they should follow isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines.
- Testing for asymptomatic contacts of cases is generally no longer recommended, except for high-risk contacts/individuals that are part of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk health care settings, and as recommended by public health.
- Positive rapid antigen tests will no longer require PCR testing confirmation.
- Based on the latest scientific evidence, individuals with COVID-19 (or have symptoms) should be isolated for five days if they are fully vaccinated or under the age of 12, and if their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours at the five day mark. (Note: individuals who are symptomatic but not fully-vaccinated should be isolated for ten days.)
For more information, please review the Backgrounder for Updated Eligibility for PCR Testing and Case and Contact Management Guidance in Ontario
While it is unfortunate, it is necessary that Peterborough Public Health (and other public health units in Ontario) shift our focus for case and contact management to the most vulnerable populations in the highest risk settings (such as long-term care, retirement homes, and other congregate living settings). We will no longer be supporting contact tracing among the general public or workplaces. All residents, workers, employers, etc. are advised to seek exposure guidance through Ontario.ca/exposed.
Link to Peterborough Public Health – PPH’s school webpage for more information.