Ontario Makes Changes To COVID-19 Testing; Cuts Isolation Period To Five Days For Fully Vaccinated Residents

Thursday December 30th, 2021

Posted at 3:21pm

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Changes have been announced to COVID-19 testing in Ontario.

Effective December 31st, publicly-funded PCR testing will be available only for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including for the purposes of confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis to begin treatment and workers and residents in the highest risk settings, as well as vulnerable populations.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms are asked not to seek testing.

In addition, most individuals with a positive result from a rapid antigen test will no longer be required or encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular test.

Ontario is also changing the required isolation period based on “growing evidence that generally healthy people with COVID-19 are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.”

Individuals with COVID-19 who are vaccinated, as well as children under 12, will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms. Their household contacts are also required to isolate with them. These individuals can end isolation after five days if their symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed. Non-household contacts are required to self-monitor for ten days.

Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or immunocompromised will be required to isolate for ten days. While individuals who work or live in high-risk health care settings are recommended to return to work after ten days from their last exposure or symptom onset or from their date of diagnosis, to ensure sufficient staffing levels, workers will have the opportunity to return to work after isolating for seven days with negative PCR or rapid antigen test results, which will be provided by the province through the health care setting.

 

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