Ontario’s Updated COVID-19 Testing and Isolation Guidelines
As of December 31, 2021, the Ontario Government has updated its COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines. These new guidelines may affect when employees should isolate, when tests should be administered to employees, and are summarized as follows:
If an individual has symptoms:
- Fully vaccinated individuals should isolate for at least five days, and may end isolation when symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
- Unvaccinated/partially vaccinated individuals should isolate for 10 days.
Isolation should begin following the onset of symptoms, and if symptoms are not improving for at least 24 hours, individuals should not cease isolation.
If an individual has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and has no symptoms:
- Fully vaccinated individuals that do not live with a positive case are advised to:
- Self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days since last interaction with the positive case
- Maintain masking, physical distancing and adherence to all other public health measures if leaving home
- Do not visit any high-risk settings or individuals who may be at higher risk of illness (e.g., seniors) for 10 days from your last exposure
- Unvaccinated/partially vaccinated individuals must isolate immediately for 10 days following the last interaction with the positive case
Please note, individuals living with someone who must self-isolate, must self-isolate for the same duration as the household contact.
- Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are presumed positive and should follow isolation guidelines.
- Positive rapid antigen tests will no longer require PCR confirmation.
- Asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended, unless considered high-risk contacts or settings.
- Symptomatic testing is available for individuals who are considered high-risk*, or work in high-risk settings.
*For a list of individuals considered high risk please click here, and look under the eligible groups section.
For the full details regarding any testing and self-isolation changes, please click here.
Lastly, as you all may know, with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, effective January 5, 2022, Ontario will be moving to a modified Step 2 on the Roadmap to Reopen. Specifically, the government is requiring businesses and organization to ensure employees work remotely during this time, unless the work requires employees to work onsite. For more information, please click here.
A useful link to pass on to your employees that includes financial support details, changes to validations and deadlines with regards to things such as rent, as well as mental health support information can be found here.