Kington’s medical officer of health has issued a new class order aimed at owners and operators of home and community care organizations.
According to a media release issued by Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health, the order requires these facilities to:
- Ensure staff are aware of and practising appropriate infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices.
- Conduct regular IPAC audits and provide education to ensure any deficiencies are corrected.
- Recommend clients and families of clients who are receiving services wear a face covering (or preferably a medical grade mask) while employees are in the home.
- Ensure all staff providing services requiring close personal contact or personal care in the community and home care settings provide a negative COVID-19 test result to their employer every two weeks, regardless of symptoms. This is asymptomatic surveillance swabbing and individuals may continue working while awaiting their test results. More frequent surveillance testing will be required if community status level changes to orange, red or grey.
- Maintain records of the education sessions, audits and attestations for submission to KFL&A Public Health as requested.
“Enforcing stronger IPAC practices along with mandatory surveillance testing of staff working in community and home care settings are important measures that will continue to protect those most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” said Dr. Kieran Moore.
“This order will strengthen our ability to identify positive cases, reduce the risk of people contracting COVID-19, and preserve the capacity of our health care system to respond and provide care for those who need it.”
Previously, a provincial directive for long-term care home surveillance testing and access to homes was issued by the minister of long-term care pursuant to Section 174.1 of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, which mandates regular surveillance testing for staff, students and volunteers who worked in long-term care homes. This class order will add surveillance testing for community and home care settings.
This class order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the medical officer of health determines it is no longer required. Operators and individuals who are not in compliance with this order can be charged and fined.
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