On May 26, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued an updated Directive #2 to allow for the gradual restart of health services accompanied by a guidance document, “COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart”. Health service providers must comply with this document in order to resume services.
The College initially released its guidance on May 22, 2020 prior to the release of this document. The College’s guidance took a precautionary approach based on the available information. However, the COVID-19 Operational Requirements defined approaches to care based on whether a patient screens or tests negative or positive for COVID-19. As a result, the College’s Return to Practice Guidance for RDTs has been updated to reflect these changes.
The College will continue to update this guidance as more information becomes available. A revision history at the end of the document will outline the dates of the revisions and the key changes. The key changes of this revision include:
- Additional guidance in the Patient Care section based on a patient screening or testing negative or positive for COVID-19
- Addition of Table 1 in the section of Personal Protective Equipment, which sets out the use of PPE by setting and procedure based on a patient screening or testing negative or positive for COVID-19
- Edit section on Aerosol-Generating Procedures, guidance now applies only when it is on a dental prosthesis/device or an item that has had direct contact with patients who have screened or tested positive for COVID-19
- Additional guidance in the Screening section to include CMOH recommendation that staff conducting screening of patients and essential visitors are ideally behind a physical barrier