COVID-19 for health professionals
Resources and updates relating to monitoring, assessment and patient care
We’re committed to providing health care professionals with the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This content is monitored regularly, and updates are made as they become available.
COVID-19 vaccine appointments
If you're an active, in-person and frontline health care worker, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Professionals Update
Weekly epidemiology update
- Health professionals updates
- Cases of COVID-19 in Peel dashboard
- Interactive map of COVID-19 cases in Peel
- Active institutional outbreaks
- Region of Peel COVID-19 page
- Region of Peel COVID-19 resources and posters, also available in multiple languages
- French translated resources from the Government of Ontario, Public Health Ontario, and health sector guidance documents from the Ministry of Health
Questions? Contact us at 905-799-7700, Caledon 905-584-2216 and follow the prompts for health care providers. Our call centre hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Symptoms of COVID-19 vary and may include flu-like or mild symptoms. Review a summary of the symptoms of COVID-19 and the full Ministry of Health case definition. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should be directed to get tested for COVID-19.
Peel Public Health will directly contact anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to provide further information and instructions.
People who test positive for COVID-19 must stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days from the start of their symptoms, or at least 10 days from the date they got tested if they do not have symptoms.
Learn more about instructions for people who test positive for COVID-19.
Testing should be considered for the following:
- Anyone presenting with at least 1 symptom or sign of COVID-19
- Atypical presentations of COVID-19 should be considered, especially in children, older persons, and people living with a developmental disability.
Contacts of a confirmed case should be considered for testing within 14 days from their last exposure or notification from the COVID Alert app. Learn more about who is considered a close contact.
- Contacts who had ongoing exposure to the case while infectious or contacts of an outbreak investigation should be tested as soon as possible.
- Contacts who were only exposed to the case during a discrete period of time should be tested on or after day 7 from their last exposure to the case.
- Contacts with ongoing or discrete exposure who were tested earlier than 7 days from their last exposure to the case must repeat testing on or after day 10.
Even if the test result is negative, contacts of a confirmed case must remain in self-isolation for 14 days from their last exposure to the case. If an asymptomatic contact tests negative and then subsequently becomes symptomatic, they should be re-tested.
Only high-risk asymptomatic individuals and those from targeted testing groups should be considered for PCR testing.
Clinicians should refer to Ontario’s testing guidance to help guide decision making when assessing and managing patients from specific settings and priority groups. Asymptomatic groups that are recommended for testing include contacts of confirmed positive cases, outbreak investigations, and other targeted testing groups (e.g., workers and visitors of long-term care or retirement homes, those who identify as Indigenous, etc.).
Direct your patients to stay home while waiting for test results. Refer to the following instructions of what patients should do while waiting for their test results.
Testing related resources:
- COVID-19 self-assessment tool - Ministry of Health
- COVID-19 virus test requisition - Public Health Ontario
- Access COVID-19 test results - Ministry of Health
- Interim guidance: Clinical management of patients with COVID-19 - Government of Canada
- Ontario testing guidance update - Ministry of Health
- Quick reference guidance on testing and clearance - Ministry of Health
Primary care providers should follow the Ministry of Health guidance document for primary care providers in a community setting.
- All non-essential appointments should be conducted virtually.
- Screen all patients when booking appointments and as they arrive in clinic.
- Refer to the guidance document for the appropriate management of patients who screen positive.
Infection prevention and control
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Ensure you are donning and doffing PPE correctly.
- Ensure you have more than a 7-day supply of PPE. If you have 7 days or less of supply, enter a request to order critical PPE using Ontario Health’s online Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) intake form. Contact the Ontario Health-Central Region Supply Chain Team at OHCentralPPEInquiries@lhins.on.ca if you have questions.
- Perform regular hand hygiene.
- Clean and disinfect your clinical environment at least daily with an approved disinfectant and after every use by a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Access Public Health Ontario’s infection prevention and control assessment for primary care, specialty and walk-in clinics during COVID-19.
Signage for use in your facility
- Attention patients - report to reception - Ministry of Health
- Attention visitors - stay home - Ministry of Health
- Universal mask use in health care - Public Health Ontario
Managing cases of COVID-19 in outpatient health care settings
- Peel Public Health is prioritizing investigations in outpatient care settings only where an outbreak is suspected or declared. An outbreak is defined as 2 or more cases within a 2-week period that are epidemiologically linked to the workplace.
- Control of isolated cases in such settings (e.g., 1 or 2 COVID-19 cases reported among staff or patients/clients) is an occupational health issue and should be managed by the clinic leadership.
Together with the health system and our community partners, we’re vaccinating Peel residents. Refer to our COVID-19 vaccine page for details about our vaccination program, including approved vaccines, currently eligible priority groups and clinic and appointment information.
Reporting an adverse event following COVID-19 vaccine
The most commonly reported side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are local reactions including pain, redness or swelling at the infection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, and mild fever.
If a patient is showing signs of having an adverse reaction after being given the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Complete a Report of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) form.
- Fax the completed AEFI form to Peel Public Health at (905) 565-1456.
Serious side effects after receiving the vaccine are rare. However, if a person develops any serious symptoms or symptoms that could be an allergic reaction, they should seek medical attention right away or call 911 if they are severely unwell.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy)
- Swelling of the face, tongue or throat
- Difficulty breathing
Physician vaccinator callout
If you are a physician interested in working at Peel Public Health immunization clinics as a COVID-19 immunizer, please fill out the following survey. Physicians rendering services at COVID-19 vaccination sites are eligible for payment using sessional fee codes.
- COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario - Government of Ontario
- COVID-19 vaccine-relevant information and planning resources - Ministry of Health
- Center for Effective Practice COVID-19 vaccine resource for physicians which includes patient resources and information on vaccines authorized for use in Canada
Health care workers who are actively working, delivering in-person or frontline care, and who live or work in Peel have been prioritized to receive their COVID-19 immunizations.
Find out more about who is currently eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination in Peel.
Check the priority list to find out which active health care workers and health-affiliated workers are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
If you develop symptoms as a health care worker
Health care workers (HCW) who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at work should immediately go home, self-isolate, and contact their occupational health department to arrange testing at an assessment centre. It is recommended that all symptomatic health care workers are tested.
Returning to work for health care workers
HCWs should follow isolation and clearance with a non-test based approach unless they have required hospitalization during the course of their illness, in which case a test based approach may be used at the discretion of the hospital. Some HCWs may be directed to have test-based clearance by their employer or Occupational Health and Safety.
Symptomatic HCWs awaiting testing results must be off work.
Asymptomatic HCWs awaiting testing results may continue to work using the appropriate precautions required by the facility, which will depend on the reason for testing.
In exceptional circumstances where clinical care would be severely compromised without additional staffing, an earlier return to work under work self-isolation may be considered for an asymptomatic HCW who is self-isolating due to a high-risk exposure as directed by the employer or Occupational Health and Safety.
For more information, refer to the Ministry of Health Quick Reference Public Health Guidance on Testing and Clearance.
- Work self-isolation means maintaining self-isolation measures outside of work for 14 days from a high-risk exposure, or 10 days from symptom onset (or 10 days from positive specimen collection date if consistently asymptomatic) for cases.
- While at work, health care workers should always wear a medical mask, use additional PPE as appropriate, maintain physical distancing (>2m) except for when providing direct care, and perform meticulous hand hygiene.
- Staff on work self-isolation should not work at multiple locations.
- These work measures are required to continue until non-test based clearance (or test based clearance if required by employer or Occupational Health and Safety).
- Timing of testing for COVID-19 for asymptomatic close contacts should consider when the exposure occurred and if the contact was exposed at the same time as the case. Testing should be taken approximately on or after 7 days since the last exposure to the case.
Recommendations for work self-isolation for health care workers (HCWs)
HCW may work self-isolate sure you check with your occupational health department about your institution’s specific work self-isolation policy.
HCW’s household member is symptomatic, no known exposure and has not been tested for COVID-19:
Work self-isolation until a period of 14 days self-isolation is complete after last exposure.
HCW’s household member is symptomatic, no known exposure and is awaiting results:
HCW may work self-isolate until the household member’s test result comes back.
HCW’s household member is symptomatic, known exposure and has not been tested for COVID-19:
HCW should get tested and must be off work for 14 days. Return to work 14 days after last exposure to the household member.
HCW’s household member is symptomatic, known exposure and awaiting COVID-19 test results:
HCW must be off work. Return to work after the household member’s test result comes back negative.
HCW’s household member is a positive case:
HCW should be advised to get tested and must be off work. Return to work 14 days after last exposure to the household member. If the HCW is co-isolating with a positive case (e.g., young child), the date of last exposure is Day 10 of the child’s isolation period.
HCW’s household member is an asymptomatic close contact:
HCW may work self-isolate. If the household member was unable to effectively isolate at home (e.g., young child), and becomes symptomatic or tests positive, the HCW must be off work and return to work 14 days after last exposure.
Peel Public Health is actively monitoring all institutional outbreaks in Peel.
We're supporting long term care and retirement homes in meeting their obligations under the Ministry of Health's Directive #3 and Directive #5, which outline required steps to protect residents and staff of these institutions.
Long term care and retirement homes requiring COVID-19 swabs for testing should submit a request to Ontario Health by completing the PPE and swab kit intake form.
Long-term care homes requiring COVID-19 testing for surveillance testing should contact their LHIN Relationship Manager for further information and support for testing.
Regular specimen drop-off routine should be followed where possible.
Specimens can be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Fairview Clinic located at 325 Central Parkway West in Mississauga to be couriered to the Public Health Ontario Labs.
Alternative transport arrangements must be made for specimens collected for facility-wide testing or staff surveillance testing as the Fairview Clinic does not have capacity to store large numbers of specimens.
Properly sealed specimens must be received at the clinic before 11 a.m.
The name of the facility should be indicated on the requisition and the Outbreak Number must be clearly marked on all respiratory samples sent to ensure prioritization at the lab.