December 31, 2021
Yesterday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, announced changes to COVID-19 testing eligibility, isolation periods and more. The Ontario Government’s Newsroom section of their website offers a helpful article for understanding the new guidelines.
One of the commonly asked questions we are getting is the change to isolation requirements. The changes do not apply to staff, residents or Designated Essential Visitors (DEVs) of retirement communities. For those who have symptoms of COVID-19, the direction is as follows:
“If you live, work, attend, volunteer, or have been admitted in a high-risk health care setting, you must notify your employer and should not visit the high-risk setting for ten days since your last exposure or symptom onset, or from your date of diagnosis. To ensure sufficient staffing levels, workers in these settings will have the opportunity to return to work early on day seven of their isolation with a negative PCR test or two negative rapid antigen tests on days six and seven. If you live in a high-risk setting, you should isolate regardless of vaccination status.”
If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are asked not to visit a high-risk health care setting, such as a retirement community, for ten days since your date of exposure. This is regardless of your vaccination status.
Asymptomatic and symptomatic staff and residents of retirement communities can access PCR testing. Symptomatic DEVs can also access PCR testing. For all other visiting guidelines, please reference my memo dated December 21, 2021.
Fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines are likely coming for retirement community residents, at the three-month or 84-day mark, post third dose. We do not have further information at this time, though we will work closely with our Local Public Health Units and inform you should they become available.
Thank you all for your patience with these changing protocols and for helping us keep our team members and residents safe. These are challenging days, but we have many reasons to be optimistic about the future. Whether you live, work or regularly visit a Seasons Retirement Community, your health and well-being are very important to us. On this New Year’s Eve, let me take the opportunity to wish you all good health and much happiness in 2022.
Chief Operating Officer,
Seasons Retirement Communities
For additional online resources for COVID-19 you can visit the following sites: