Guidance for health care providers, long-term care homes, and retirement homes (COVID-19)

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Vaccine rollout

The Province of Ontario has announced that the COVID-19 vaccine distribution implementation plan (Government of Ontario) will rollout in three phases. Phase 1 began with identified priority groups including health care workers in hospitals; staff, residents, and essential caregivers in long-term care home and retirement homes; other congregate care settings; and remote Indigenous communities.

Locally, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is actively distributing and administering the COVID-19 vaccine in area communities including through engagement with local stakeholders.

For a complete list of resources to support planning and implementation of a COVID-19 vaccination, please review our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Communications in a Box.

Health care workers

COVID-19 testing is available to all health care workers whether they have symptoms or not. If you are a health care worker and have symptoms of COVID-19, immediately self-isolate (learn how) and notify your employer or occupational health and safety department.

Staff presenting with new symptoms compatible with COVID-19, including atypical symptoms, must be rapidly identified, investigated and managed, including ensuring access to testing. Symptomatic staff awaiting test results must be off work and on isolation. Learn more about who is eligible for testing.

There are also a number of Ministry of Health guidance documents for health and other sectors available below for further information.

Long-term care homes and retirement homes

The following information provides Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ guidance related to Directive #3 of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Outbreak Guidance for Long-Term Care Homes, particularly as it relates to the management of close contacts of symptomatic staff and residents and the declaration of outbreaks. Long-term care homes must ensure that all measures outlined in the Directive are in place. This includes but is not limited to staff masking, active screening of all residents, staff and visitors, management of visitors, and cohorting of residents and staff. Retirement homes are required to take all reasonable steps to follow these directives. Although it is acknowledged that certain measures are more intense than would be implemented for other respiratory diseases, the provincial directives are developed to be proportional to the risk and ensure that we are providing the best protection we can to vulnerable residents and to staff.

As per Directive #3 of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, long-term care homes must have a plan for and use, to the extent possible, staff and resident cohorting as part of their approach to preparedness, as well as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 once identified in the home. For more information on cohorting, please consult the following Public Health Ontario resources:

Direct communications from Public Health Sudbury & Districts

Public Health update in light of COVID-19 variants of concern (February 24, 2021)

Medical Officer of Health COVID-19 Data presentation to the Sudbury Medical Society, April 9, 2020 (PDF, 2 MB)

Advisory Alerts and clinical guidance issued by Public Health Sudbury & Districts

Helpful links

Public Health Sudbury & Districts

Diseases of Public Health Significance

Daily Surveillance Line Listings (resident & staff)

Learn more about symptoms and how to protect yourself from COVID-19

Public Health Agency of Canada

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): For health professionals

Ontario Ministry of Health

Guidance for the health sector

Case definition

Guidance documents for:

Public Health Ontario


This item was last modified on September 15, 2021