MAHC Updates Priorities For COVID Testing
From Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC)
To prioritize those who are at the greatest risk of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health issued updated provincial testing guidance on December 30, 2021. The new eligibility criteria preserves testing capacity for those at highest risk of contracting COVID-19.
According to the guidance, individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 can be presumed to be infected with COVID-19 and should initiate timely self-isolation to prevent transmission in the community and follow these steps.
The Bracebridge Assessment Centre, operated by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), is following the latest testing criteria. It indicates that those considered to be a highest risk include:
- patient-facing healthcare workers;
- staff, residents, essential care providers, and visitors in hospitals and congregate living settings, including long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, and correctional institutions;
- people who are from First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities and individuals travelling into these communities for work;
- individuals 70+ years of age with a risk factor (such as obesity, diabetes or kidney disease);
- underhoused or homeless individuals.
The latest guidance indicates testing for asymptomatic contacts of cases is no longer recommended, except for high-risk contacts/individuals that are part of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings, as recommended by public health.
The guidance also states that positive rapid antigen tests no longer require PCR confirmation.
For more information on the current testing direction, visit www.ontario.ca/covidtest.