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LeClair COVID Blast July 7, 2021

Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 07:55

Updated: COVID-19 Daily Screening Tool (Questionnaire) for Businesses and Organizations

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  • Effective June 30, 2021, The Chief Medical Officer of Ontario released an updated screening tool for businesses and organizations in accordance with O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Step 2, made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act.

What’s new about the updated Screening Tool (Questionnaire)

  • New: With vaccination rates on the rise, as well as the increased application of rapid testing in the workplace, the daily screening questionnaire has introduced new language which alters the way in which the questionnaire is to be answered, while also introducing a limited exception to the rules on when a mask can be removed while in the workplace.
  • Application: These updates enhance the existing screening measures, and it is clear that, regardless of a worker’s vaccination status, every business and organization must continue to ensure that workers are actively screened each day, and before the worker enters the workplace or commences their shift.

How to answer the updated Screening Tool (Questionnaire):

  • If a worker has received a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 48 hours - and as a consequence, experiences a mild headache, mild muscle aches / joint pain and/or mild fatigue, the worker may nonetheless answer “No” to the corresponding screening question and will still be permitted to enter the workplace – subject to the variation to the existing rules around the removal of masks in the workplace.
  • If a fully vaccinated worker has been identified as a “close contact” - with an individual who currently has COVID-19, the fully vaccinated worker should answer “No” to the corresponding screening question, and regarding whether they have been identified as a “close contact” within the last 14 days. Similarly, fully vaccinated workers who live with an individual who is currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and/or who is waiting for test results after experiencing such symptoms, should answer “No” to the corresponding screening question and to whether they live with someone who has such symptoms.
  • (NEW): COVID Alert Exposure App – Should a fully vaccinated worker receive a COVID Alert exposure notification, they should answer “No” to the new corresponding question that has been added to the daily screening tool, and the same is also true for a non-vaccinated worker, provided they have additionally and since receiving the Alert, also received a negative COVID-19 test result.

Variation to the existing rules around the removal of masks in the workplace:

  • The general rule - regarding the removal of masks in the workplace is that a worker is permitted to remove their mask while working, provided that they are able to maintain social distancing and are also working in an area to which members of the public do not have access. The updated screening tool changes this if a worker has received a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 48 hours and has a mild headache, fatigue, muscle ache and/or joint pain that only began after immunization. In such instances, the worker is then required to wear a mask for the full duration of their shift, despite the general rule above. The only exceptions would be where the worker needs to remove the mask to consume food or drink, and if their existing symptoms worsen or last more than 48 hours, they are required to go into self-isolation and encouraged to get tested.

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

  • For screening purposes - “fully vaccinated” means an individual who received either their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, and did so more than 14 days ago.

(New) Rapid Antigen Testing

  • Workers who previously tested positive following a rapid antigen test – should answer “No” to the corresponding screening question, provided that they have since tested negative on a lab-based PCR test.

What about workers who travel locally?

  • Daily Screening – remains the primary obligation of the workers’ employer, even though these workers may be screened at multiple customer locations throughout their shift.

What about workers who travel internationally?

  • Effective July 5, 2021: fully vaccinated workers may be exempted from the mandatory two-week quarantine restrictions, provided that they are additionally symptom-free upon arrival and pass all border entry requirements.

We will continue to share updates and insights in the coming weeks, however, for specific questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly at – nic@leclairandassociates.ca (519) 859 6015

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