News Updates

Dec 23, 2021

College COVID-19 Update: Booster Rollout & Updated Directives

College COVID-19 Update: Booster Rollout & Updated Directives 

Ontario Extending Call to Arms to Bolster Vaccine Rollout

The Ontario government is making regulatory amendments to allow more individuals to safely administer the COVID-19 vaccine in certain locations. At this time, this does not include private clinics or pharmacies. Training will be provided as required and supervision will be required by a physician, registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or pharmacist who is present at the premises where the vaccine is administered. Physiotherapists who are interested in volunteering to provide this service can register or update their existing profile through the Health Workforce Matching Portal.

In addition, the province has launched a volunteer portal to recruit individuals, including retired health professionals to support at vaccine clinics across the province. The Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal allows anyone 16 years and older to register to volunteer in a variety of roles based on their abilities, experience and the needs of their local public health unit.

The complete news release can be found here.

Updated Directives – Revised Personal Protective Equipment Requirements

Physiotherapists who are delivering in-person care should continue to follow the direction from the Ministry of Health. The Chief Medical Officer of Health has updated a number of COVID-19 directives.

Directive #1 for Health Care Providers and Health Care Entities & Directive #5 for Public Hospitals and Long Term Care Homes have been updated to outline revised PPE requirements.

As an interim precaution in light of the uncertainty of the Omicron variant, all health care workers providing direct care to or interacting with individuals who have suspected, probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 are required to have and use the following PPE:

  • Fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirator (or equivalent);
  • Eye Protection (goggles or face shield);
  • Gloves;
  • Appropriate Isolation Gowns

Additional guidance is also provided in the directive to those health care workers who have not yet been fit tested for an N95. A Directive #5 Question and Answer document has been released to provide further clarity for those working in hospitals, long term care homes and retirement homes.

Directive #3 for Long Term Care Homes has also been updated to outline the minimum requirements concerning COVID-19 infection and prevention control measures that must be in place.

Interim Case and Contact Management Guidance

With the emergence of the Omicron variant and rising case numbers, the Ministry has released interim guidance for all health care providers who have been in contact with an individual who is COVID-19 positive. If you have been notified of a high risk contact with a COVID case and work within a healthcare setting, you must self-isolate regardless of vaccination status and get tested as soon as possible. Contact your local public health unit for further information. Physiotherapists working in hospitals may also contact their employer for further guidance in these situations.

As COVID-19 information is rapidly evolving, physiotherapists are encouraged to frequently visit the Ministry of Health website or contact their local public health unit for the most accurate, up-to-date information.