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Health Unit to Change Case COVID-19 Management and Testing Processes

 

In response to the rapidly spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is following provincial direction and is updating its COVID-19 testing, isolation, and case and contact management guidelines. Key changes include the following:

  • PCR testing is no longer available for everyone. PCR testing will be available for high-risk individuals, and individuals who work in high-risk settings.
  • Positive rapid antigen tests will no longer require PCR confirmation.
  • Individuals who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 12, with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms should isolate for five days.
  • Individuals who are over 12 years of age and not fully vaccinated OR are immunocompromised with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms should isolate for 10 days.
  • All household contacts must also isolate for the same duration as the person with symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, inform close contacts beyond your household contacts and provide them with this link Ontario.ca/exposed.

 

Public health officials are advising anyone who develops symptoms, such as fever, chills, a new or worsening cough, and a decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste, to consider their illness to be COVID-19 and to take the Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment to determine what to do next.

 

Starting today, the HNHU will only be contacting positive cases associated with the highest-risk settings:

 

  • Hospital and healthcare settings including complex continuing care facilities and acute care facilities.
  • Congregate living settings, e.g. long-term care and retirement homes, First Nation eldercare lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, and correctional institutions.
  • First Nations, Inuit, Metis communities.