The Regional Municipality Of York

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COVID-19 Information for Health Professionals

York Region Public Health continues to provide support for health professionals related to COVID-19. The York Region Public Health phone line for health care professionals 1-877-464-9675 ext. 77280 is staffed from 8:30a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week and is provided for health care providers to ensure your inquiries can be answered quickly. After this time you may leave a message and our staff will respond on the following day.

Assessment Centres in York Region

Mackenzie Health, Southlake Regional Health Centre and Markham-Stouffville Hospital have opened their own COVID-19 assessment centres. The centres are located in or adjacent to each of the respective hospitals. The goals of Assessment Centres are to facilitate testing for possible cases of the novel coronavirus and help ensure local hospital emergency departments are focused on treating people who are critically ill and have life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

Patients who are not experiencing symptoms, but may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19 or are concerned about exposure to COVID-19 through work, can go to an Assessment Centre to be tested.

Please note: criteria for assessment centres and the case definition may change.

York Region Public Health offices do not provide COVID-19 testing.

For current information regarding the status of positive cases identified in York Region, refer to york.ca/covid19.

York Region Public Health continues to collaborate with local hospitals and health care providers, emergency services, COVID-19 Assessment Centres and other partner agencies to ensure prompt reporting and follow up of individuals who may require testing or have tested positive for COVID-19.


Alert:

Health Canada is asking health professionals to avoid prescribing or dispensing larger supplies of medication than necessary, unless there is a specific medical reason to do so as increasing demand can lead to local shortages.

Consider talking to your patients about plans for serious illness and end-of-life care options. Please see this resource from the Public Health Agency of Canada to assist.

Please update your College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) address and fax number to ensure you are receiving all ENS messaging as it relates to COVID-19.

You can also reach out to surveillance@york.ca if you continue to experience issues receiving ENS updates.


For Health Professionals


Sector-Specific Guidance Documents

For information on managing health care worker illness and returns to work related to COVID-19, see our communication from March 19, 2020: Ministry of Health Recommendations for Health Care Workers

Health care settings are being requested to conduct passive and active screening, as detailed in the following guidance documents for:

We are available 24/7 for health care providers. Call our dedicated COVID-19 line for health professionals at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 77280 between 8:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. After hours call 905-953-6478.

Review the updated case definition from the Ministry. Updates to the case definition are likely to be ongoing given the evolving evidence. We suggest checking this link regularly as the situation and case definition evolves.

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Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Recommendations

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Important Information to Gather from Suspect Cases

Please collect the following information from anyone you believe may meet the COVID-19 case definition to help with an assessment:

  • Signs, symptoms, onset and your clinical assessment
  • Travel details if applicable (dates and exact location(s) of travel and date of return to Canada)
  • Full patient demographics (including phone number)
  • Confirmation of infection prevention and control measures put in place following assessment and testing for COVID-19 (if testing was carried out)
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Testing for COVID-19

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

Testing for COVID-19 should be based on clinical assessment, and not based on the case definition. At this time, there are no criteria for testing and all specimens will be tested if submitted to PHOL.

Updated provincial guidance on testing was provided on May 14 and May 24, 2020. There are updates related to testing:

Symptomatic testing:

1. All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms.

Asymptomatic, risk-based testing:

2. People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.

3. People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).

  •  No Ontarian who is symptomatic or who is concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 will be declined a test at an Assessment Centre (either through appointment or walk-in, per the processes of each individual Assessment Centre)

The guidance document also includes:

  • Additional detail for transfer from hospitals to Long-Term Care Homes
  • Additional guidance for testing newborns
  • Conjunctivitis added to atypical symptoms list
  • Added consideration for other underlying reasons for patients presenting with ONLY runny nose, sneezing, or congestion, such as seasonal allergies and post-nasal drip
  • Added detailed testing considerations for Cancer Patients
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Recommendations for Isolation

Criteria for when to discharge someone from isolation after being diagnosed with COVID-19

For each of the scenarios below, isolation after symptom onset should be for the duration specified and provided that the individual is afebrile and symptoms are improving. Absence of cough is not required for those known to have chronic cough or who are experiencing reactive airways post-infection. Once a case is discharged from isolation, their case status should be updated to 'resolved'.

  • For individuals at home:
    • 14 days following symptom onset
    • This applies to individuals whether they were confirmed by testing, and individuals who were not tested but have symptoms compatible with COVID-19
  • For hospitalized patients:
    • Isolate in hospital until 2 negative tests, obtained at least 24 hours apart
    • If discharged home within 14 days of symptom onset, follow advice for individuals at home
  • For health care workers:
    • For return to work, 2 negative tests are required, obtained at least 24 hours apart
    • If critical for operations, health care workers may return to work 14 days after symptom onset while wearing appropriate PPE, and continuing use of appropriate PPE until 2 negative specimens at least 24 hours apart.
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Past Communications from York Region Public Health

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Resources

External Resources for Health Professionals

Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

On March 28, the Ministry of Health provided a Minister’s Order that requires health care provider organizations to provide information related to their PPE inventories to Ontario Health on a daily basis. The Ministry of Health memo outlines a process for organizations to request supply and equipment requests.

Resources for Patients in Different Languages


 


York Region,Public Health,support,health professionals,novel,coronavirus COVID-19 The Regional Municipality of York en-US Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Information for Health Professionals York Region Public Health continues to provide support for health professionals related to COVID-19 (formerly referred to as novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV)

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