COVID-19 Update: Ministry Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment

On June 11, 2022, the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health revoked all remaining Covid-19 directives, and ended the requirement for health care workers to implement masking in their practice, except for those working in long-term care and retirement homes. This requirement has been replaced with a new guidance document called Covid-19 Guidance: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Health Care Workers and Health Care Entities. This guidance requires all health care workers, including members of this College, to continue a point of care risk assessment (PCRA) for each patient interaction to determine what precautions are necessary. For an example of a PCRA, please see page 58 of Ontario’s Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings. We encourage all members to review the information in both links for further information.

Essentially, while most members can end the implementation of masking in their practice, there may be some situations where it is appropriate for practitioners and/or their patients to wear PPE. Members must use the PCRA to remain prepared for such situations, and use their best judgment to determine when masking should be used.  Furthermore, some organizations may choose to implement their own masking policies. Members are encouraged to speak with their employer about masking requirements within their organizations.

The guidance also requires health care workers providing care to suspected or confirmed Covid-19 positive patients to wear eye protection, gown, gloves, and a fit-tested N95 respirator. The College’s position remains that members should not provide in-person treatment to patients that are confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19. Members may provide virtual care to these patients; however, for in-person treatments, please wait until the patient is no longer required to isolate, as per Provincial requirements.

The College remains supportive of members who wish to continue requiring masks in their practice. However, members should have a plan to accommodate patients who are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, such as virtual visits, scheduling them at non-peak times to reduce exposure to other patients, or transferring care to another practitioner if accommodations can not be made (see: Standard on Maintaining Professional Boundaries).

The College is in the process of updating our own guidance based on the new Ministry requirements. In the meantime, if there are any discrepancies between College and Ministry of Health documents, please defer to the Ministry.

We would like to thank members for their continued dedication to providing care in a safe environment throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at info@ctcmpao.on.ca.

Additional Links:

Memo re: Revocation of CMOH Directives #1, #2.1, #3, #4, and #5