Health Care Provider Frequently Asked Questions
How do I treat essential workers that regularly travel across the US-Canada border and who will screen positive as a result?
- The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has clarified its policy on treating essential workers that regularly travel across the US-Canada border and who will screen positive as a result. The updated guidance summarized the COVID-19 FAQs for Physicians is as follows:
- You may have some patients who are essential workers that are required to regularly travel across the US-Canada border as a part of their job. As a result, they will always screen positive when using the Ministry of Health’s screening tool simply because the nature of their work.
- Recognizing that these individuals have been deemed essential workers and exempted from the quarantine and isolation rules set out by the federal government, the College is supportive of physicians exercising their clinical judgment regarding how to best care for these patients when they screen positive solely because of work related travel.
- An immediate deferral of in-person care or redirection to another facility is not necessary in these instances provided appropriate safety precautions can be met. If there is no opportunity to see a patient following a 14-day window without travel across the border or a negative COVID-19 test, physicians can arrange to see the patient for any in-person care if they can satisfy the recommended precautions to do so safely (i.e., immediately isolating the individual upon arrival, use of appropriate PPE, etc.).
Where can I find clinical guidance for assessment of patients who have symptoms of COVID-19?
What should I inform my patient who receives a positive COVID-19 test result?
What if I am aware of a patient who is COVID-19 positive and not self-isolating?
- HCPs can reinforce the requirements of the Medical Officer of Health's Class Order, including the need to self-isolate. HCPs can share a copy of the Class Order and Fact Sheet.
- HCPs can also contact 613-966-5500 ext. 349 and provide HPEPH with information about the person who is not self-isolating for further investigation
I am aware of a COVID-19 positive patient who was in my clinic during their infectious period. Do I need to notify all of the patients and staff who were in my clinic that day?
- If you determine that a staff or patient with COVID-19 has been at your clinical setting while infectious, primary care providers can conduct a preliminary assessment of which patients, regulated health professionals, and other health care workers may have been in close contact with the person with COVID-19 while infectious, and whether appropriate PPE and source protection were used.
- If a case identifies that they were at a medical clinic in their infectious period, HPEPH will contact the clinic to conduct a risk assessment and to assess preventive measures in place such as screening procedures, PPE protocols, and environmental cleaning and disinfection.
- If there is a need to contact staff and persons who may have been exposed at the clinic, HPEPH will work with the primary care provider to facilitate notification and provide these persons with further instructions.
My patient tells me they are a contact of a person with COVID-19, what should I advise them to do?
- Persons who are close contacts of cases should be advised to self-isolate for 14 days from their last exposure to the case.
- HCPs can share Public Health Ontario's "How to Self-Isolate" Fact Sheet.
- HPEPH recommends that high risk contacts of confirmed cases be tested at an Assessment Centre, however timing of the testing is determined upon assessment of the contact’s symptoms and last known exposure.