COVID Update 17/04/2020

Dear Colleagues,

Please find the new testing criteria for patients who are being assessed by public health and family medicine offices and referred to our assessment centres or testing site for testing.  The new MOH guidelines build on what we had already been doing. 

This weekend’s primary care testing referrals will be as usual to the East End Assessment Centre.  Monday’s bulletin will update the process for referring to the new Mountain testing site.

Please read carefully. Primary care’s focus is still on screening and referring symptomatic people. Expanded criteria includes more testing indications for symptomatic people within the households of priority groups. 

We continue to seek as many opportunities to test as many symptomatic people within these criteria as possible – including mild or atypical symptoms.

Please refer the following people for testing. (Last Updated April 17, 2020)

  • Symptomatic health care workers (regardless of care delivery setting) and staff who work in all aggregate care or congregate living settings including health care facilities, shelters, group homes, detention centres, long-term care homes, and retirement homes.
  • Symptomatic first responders
  • Symptomatic essential and/or public-facing workers
  • All symptomatic patients with contact with a confirmed case or contact with an individual who has been sent for testing
  • Symptomatic patients with medical co-morbidities
  • Symptomatic household or family members of health care workers/aggregate care or congregate living setting workers, and first responders,
  • Symptomatic household or family members of anyone doing essential and/or public facing work
  • Symptomatic household members or family caregivers living with/providing care to those with medical co-morbidities
  • Symptomatic children attending essential day care

Medical comorbidities include heart disease, chronic lung disease, malignancies, and immune compromise.

Significant symptoms include new cough, fever, shortness of breath (even when not active), change in taste and smell, loss of smell or taste, new onset muscle aches and fatigue. People may also report unexplained or significant headache, sore throat, runny nose, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

Be on the lookout for atypical symptoms in children, seniors and people living with a developmental disability.  These may include delirium, falls, acute functional decline.  Symptoms in young children may include lethargy and/or decreased feeding.

What happens to test results?
Public health continues to contact all people with positive results.  If their screening process indicates extra significance to a negative result (e.g., a person living in a shelter), those people may also be contacted.  People who have been tested and have a health card can access the portal for their results.  (OLIS and Clinical Connect may also be used by providers seeking results.)