On August 31, 2022, the Government of Ontario and its Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, announced that Ontario will no longer mandate a five-day isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19. This move is in support of Ontario’s shift from a COVID-19 “crisis phase” to an “all respiratory virus” approach.
With the arrival of the upcoming fall season, Ontarians will face exposure to many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza. Therefore, rather than focusing solely on COVID-19, the following updated guidance will apply to all respiratory illnesses:
- Continue wearing a mask when it’s right for you;
- Stay up-to-date with all your vaccinations (including flu shots and COVID dosages);
- If you have symptoms of any respiratory illness, stay home until your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours;
- If you have a fever, stay home until that fever is gone completely;
- If you have had gastrointestinal symptoms, stay home until those symptoms have been improving for at least 48 hours;
- After isolating at home, you should wear a mask in public for at least ten days after the onset of your symptoms; and
- If you have been sick, you should avoid any non-essential visits to vulnerable or older people (including high risk settings like hospitals or long-term care homes) for at least ten days from the day after symptoms start.
Despite the elimination of mandatory isolation, employers in Ontario continue to have a responsibility to take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of a worker in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Therefore, employers should continue to assess the health and safety risks at their workplace and determine what precautions, if any, should be taken to address COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the workplace.
For further information and assistance navigating the requirements of a post-pandemic world, please consult our Coronavirus Resource Centre or contact any of the members of the DLA Piper Canadian Employment and Labour Law Service Group listed here.
This article provides only general information about legal issues and developments, and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please see our disclaimer for more details.