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Aug 23, 2022

COVID-19 Update: Information on Ministry guidance, screening, masking and more.

On June 11, 2022, the Chief Medical Officer of Health revoked the remaining Directives concerning measures to manage the transmission of COVID-19. As a result, masking and active screening requirements were lifted in most public settings.

The Directives have been replaced by Ministry of Health guidance for health care workers and organizations

Workplaces have the discretion to keep measures in place. See:

Occupational therapists should continue to monitor and follow the guidance put forth by the Ministry of Health, local public health units, and any organizational or workplace policies.

Occupational therapists are also expected to follow COTO’s Standards for Infection Prevention and Control, 2019.

This includes being knowledgeable about:

  • the current evidence based IPAC measures,
  • performing point of care risk assessments, and
  • applying appropriate measures for the practice situation to minimize risks to clients and self.

Note: Masks and screening are still required in long-term care and retirement homes.

Organizations may choose to implement their own masking and screening policies.

Occupational therapists are encouraged to speak with their employer about requirements within their organization.

Occupational therapists working in independent/private practice may need to develop policies to protect clients and staff.

Risk assessment, communication, tolerance, and professional judgement should continue to guide occupational therapist’ decisions on the use of personal protective equipment and other infection control measures when providing service.

If an occupational therapist determines that it would be appropriate to have a masking and/or screening policy to minimize the risk of infection, they should communicate this to their clients before their appointment.

Be prepared to have respectful discussions with clients to explain why the policy is in place, and alternatives you can offer.

For example, if a client does not wish to wear a mask, options such as virtual care, attending in a separate room or at specific hours, referral to another occupational therapy service provider that can accommodate, may be discussed.

Please contact the Practice Resource Service with any questions.