COVID-19 Highest Risk Settings

The Province has put in place public health measures and guidance for highest risk settings in response to COVID-19 and in particular, the Omicron variant.

Highest risk settings are:

  • Hospitals and health care settings, including:
    • complex continuing care facilities and acute care facilities
  • home and community care workers
  • congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including:
    • long-term care homes
    • retirement homes
    • First Nation elder care lodges
    • group homes
    • shelters
    • hospices
    • correctional institutions
    • Provincial Demonstration Schools
    • hospital schools

Please be aware of the following documents:

Up-to-date provincial guidance for the health sector is available here.

You may also wish to visit Ontario.ca/exposed.

Highest risk settings self-isolation

 I am an employee at a highest risk setting. I have been identified as a high-risk contact, when can I return to work?
  • A high risk contact can go back to work on day 11 (10 days after your exposure to a case) as long you didn’t develop COVID-19 symptoms and/or test positive for the virus during the time you were away from work.
  • If your workplace is experiencing a critical staff shortage, follow your workplace’s work self-isolation guidance. Work self-isolation decisions are made by your workplace, not by public health.

I am an employee at a highest risk setting. I have COVID-19, when can I return to work?

  • You must complete 5 days of self-isolation, and must not attend work for 10 days from symptom onset, or from specimen collection date if asymptomatic.
  • If your workplace is experiencing a critical staff shortage, follow your workplace’s work self-isolation guidance. Work self-isolation decisions are made by your workplace, not by public health.

I am an employee at a highest risk setting and I have questions about work self-isolation.

  • Speak with your employer if you have questions about work self-isolation.

Assistance re: symptomatic staff and/or patients/residents

After hours, if you need assistance re: symptomatic staff and/or patients/residents, please:

  1. Refer to the provincial guidance document COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge
  2. Isolate patients/residents who are COVID-19 positive (either on a PCR or RAT) and/or experiencing symptoms. Anyone who would be considered a high-risk contact must also isolate.
  3. Send a copy of the "Facility letter for high-risk staff contacts identified at your facility" to staff who you have identified as high-risk contacts
  4. Contact Huron Perth Public Health to report COVID-19 positive staff and/or patients/residents by emailing facilities@hpph.ca. HPPH staff are monitoring this account and will follow up as soon as they are able. We are experiencing a significant volume of inquiries; there may be a delay of up to 24-48 hours in our response. By isolating and monitoring high-risk contacts you are mitigating potential spread; continue to follow COVID-19 guidance for your setting.

A reminder that work self-isolation may be considered where staffing is at a critical level for your organization.  It is up to the facility to determine the need for work self-isolation, whether the staff person is eligible for work self-isolation, and any testing required.  Again, please refer to the above listed documents for more information.

Reporting and on-call service

NOTE: If there is an urgent situation, the on-call service is available to triage requests. A resident who tests positive on a rapid test or PCR is to be reported immediately.

Please ensure sure you have reviewed the above listed guidance materials before contacting on-call. In general, risk assessments of staff do not require health unit consultation and are not considered urgent.

To reach the on-call service:

  • If you are a Huron resident or a facility in Huron County, call 519-482-7077
  • If you are a Perth resident or a facility in Perth County call 1-800-431-2054