Here is the primary care “need to know” for Hamilton on updates to COVID-19 testing criteria.
REMEMBER, WE ARE ONLY TESTING PEOPLE WHO ARE SYMPTOMATIC. THERE IS NO ROLE FOR ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING AT PRESENT
The following people should be referred for testing: (note the explicit addition of health care providers).
- Symptomatic health care workers and First Responders (a health care worker is anyone providing service within an institutional, community or front line context).
Health care workers who are affiliated with St. Joe’s or HHS should arrange for access to testing through their own Employee/Occ Health services. Health care workers NOT employed by HHS /SJHH will access testing through public health and primary care, as per existing processes.
Health care workers will go to the assessment centres as usual. Each site has a plan for health care worker test results to be expedited.
When making the referral, the assessment centres request that you indicate it’s a health care worker.
Current prioritization of health care workers is to minimize spread of infection within healthcare settings. We encourage testing of healthcare workers with mild symptoms, based on your clinical judgment.
For non health care workers, we will continue to use the existing criteria:
We have defined “symptomatic” as a person who has fever (over 38 deg C) and/or onset of a new cough or difficulty breathing and:
Any of the following within 14 days prior to the onset of illness.
- Travel outside of Canada
- Close contact with a confirmed or probable case
- Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has traveled outside of Canada
Do not test people who do not have symptoms.
These testing criteria remain in place and will be reassessed on March 30.