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COVID-19 (September 8)

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has paused the Roadmap to Reopen in Step 3. The safe and cautious reopening of the province and gradual lifting of public health measures continues to be based on vaccination rate status and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.

For the most current provincial updates, click here. 

The College of Dental Hygienist of Ontario revised guidance regarding IPAC related to COVID-19 on July 29, 2021. The revisions to this guidance reflect current best-practices. Dental hygienists are encouraged to monitor the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page for any updates. View the updated guidance here.

A final update to the Government of Canada document ‘Evidence to support safe return to clinical practice by oral health professionals in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: A report prepared for the Office of the Chief Dental Officer of Canada’ (July 2021) has been published. This is the third update covering relevant literature published between March 1st and June 30th, 2021. McGill University drafted the comprehensive knowledge update concerning key issues that inform the provision of oral health care by relevant providers in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. View the update here. The document will also be available on the Government website when updated.

Public Health Ontario has released revised Interim Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern for Health Care Settings (August 2021). You can access the document here.

Updates from Public Health Ontario

  • Public Health Ontario has released revised Interim Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern for Health Care Settings (August 2021). You can access the document here.
  • Public Health Ontario published a summary to compliment the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee’s Infection Prevention and Control for Clinical Office Practice. Access the document here.

COVID-19 Vaccination
On August 17, 2021, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health introduced a set of policies requiring employers in education and several health care settings to develop strict COVID-19 vaccination policies for staff.

Within the health care sector, the new directive applies to hospitals, ambulance services and community and home-care service providers. Staff will be required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.   

Vaccination will not be mandatory, but staff who decline the vaccine will be routinely tested for the virus and will need to complete an education session about COVID-19 vaccination. This policy is similar to one that is already in place in the province’s long-term care homes.

The health care directive will take effect on September 7, 2021. You can read the press release here.

You can continue to stay informed on Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/getting-covid-19-vaccine-ontario#phase-2. CDHO has also posted information for dental hygienists by public health unit here: https://www.cdho.org/my-cdho/practice-advice/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination.

Workplace safety
Staying safe in practice takes more than following infection prevention and control guidelines when treating clients. Follow Public Health Ontario guidance in the workplace, including maintaining social distance and using face coverings when social distancing is a challenge. It’s equally important to remain vigilant in times before and in-between clients, when interacting with colleagues, and during break periods. It’s during these times, when not focusing on client care, an individual may potentially let their guard down and become vulnerable. ODHA wants you and your workplace to remain safe and healthy.

The following programs are available:

COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit provides employees with up to three days of paid leave for reasons related to COVID-19.

Canada Recovery Benefit providing $500 weekly for 26 weeks this benefit is for individuals (including those self-employed) whose income has been reduced by at least 50%. 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit providing $500 per week for up to two weeks for Canadians who are sick or in self-isolation due to COVID-19

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit providing $500 per week for no more than 26 weeks when someone is forced to remain at home to care for:

  • a child or family member who is ill or in quarantine, or
  • a child under 12 or family member normally at school, daycare or a care home that is closed due to COVID-19.


ODHA – We’re Here for You

Service to our members is of paramount importance.  ODHA has been providing ongoing email broadcasts on the pandemic and through this dedicated COVID-19 page on the ODHA website. The frequency of page updates is determined by changes in the progress of the pandemic.  Resources will be added as information is provided to the ODHA office.

ODHA will continue to keep members updated through email broadcasts (which will also be posted) and current information added to the ODHA website. We encourage you to check the added resources link for new and emerging information. At a time when many will take advantage of the uncertainty, ODHA will continue to provide evidence-informed and balanced advice and information.

We continue to encourage you to use your member benefit Legal-Line for FREE legal advice.


COVID-19 Email Updates

COVID-19 Additional Resources