Ontario changes COVID-19 inspection and quarantine rules

Dr. Kieran Moore, the state’s highest medical officer, announced the latest changes on December 30th. Press conference The state is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 and an epidemic of Omicron variants.

“For the rapid propagation of Omicron, many jurisdictions had to coordinate their testing strategies, and Ontario is no different,” Moore said.

Beginning December 31, publicly funded PCR testing will be available only to high-risk individuals at risk of symptomatic or serious illness with COVID-19. This includes “workers, residents and others in the most risky environments such as hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes and apartments”.

Moore added that most people who test positive for rapid antigens no longer need to undergo confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular tests, nor do they test asymptomatic individuals.

Moore attributed this change to the lack of the state’s public health system in the ability to test everyone in an increasing number of cases.

“We must conserve these resources for those who need them most,” he said, referring to the limited supply of rapid antigen testing remaining in the state.

In addition, he assumes that an individual who has symptoms of COVID-19 but does not meet the new eligibility for PCR testing or has access to antigen testing has been infected with the virus and himself based on the latest guidelines. Advised to isolate. quarantine period 10 to 5 days for fully vaccinated adults and children under 12 years. This also applies to their direct home contact.

Ontario decision Cutting the quarantine period in half reflects similar changes made by the US federal health authorities earlier this week.

Moore stated that the change in the required quarantine period was based on evidence that people with COVID-19, who are generally healthy, are most infectious two days before and three days after symptoms appear. rice field.

“If the symptoms resolve or improve for at least 24 hours, the quarantine can end after 5 days and all public health and safety measures such as masking and physical distance are protected,” he said. rice field.

However, unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or immunocompromised individuals should be quarantined for 10 days if the test is positive, the state government said on December 30. .. Press release.

People who are fully vaccinated, asymptomatic, do not live with COVID-positive people, but are in close contact with those who have been tested positive, do not need to be self-quarantined. Instead, it is advisable to self-monitor the symptoms and avoid visiting high-risk environments or vulnerable people for 10 days after the last exposure.

People who work or live in a high-risk medical environment experiencing symptoms must be away from work for 10 days. To avoid staff shortages, return to work after isolation for 7 days after a negative PCR test, or after two rapid antigen tests negative on the 6th and 7th days after exposure. May be allowed.

The latest announcement is applauding from the Canadian Retail Council, The largest retail industry group in the country.

Labor shortages have plagued retailers throughout the pandemic, but the recent surge in infectious diseases has led many stores to schedule and scramble to keep doors open, according to the group. Is going.

Michelle Wasylyshen, a national spokesman for the industry group, helps maintain health and safety standards, such as frequent cleaning, mask obligations and capacity limits, by enabling employees to return to work sooner. He said he could secure enough staff.

“Inspecting and quarantining sick and vulnerable people, not healthy and vulnerable people, helps us save as many lives as possible,” he says. Said to TWitter December 30th.

Canadian Press contributed to this report

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based Epoch Times reporter.