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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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This page includes answers to frequently asked COVID-19 questions for organizations and businesses, including province-wide Roadmap to Reopening and masking requirements.

For questions related to COVID-19 vaccines, including proof of vaccination requirements, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccines Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

FAQs for Organizations and Businesses

Effective March 21, 2022, the Province has removed the mandatory masking requirements for most settings (external link).

On March 9 2022, the Province updated its guidance on self-isolation and what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19.

Businesses should continue to take steps to protect workers and patrons from COVID-19. Businesses and organizations may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.

The Province has made COVID-19 vaccination policies mandatory in certain high-risk settings (external link), for example, long term care homes, hospitals and others.

If your workplace is not a high-risk setting, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, recommends that all employers address the need for a workplace vaccination policy and has issued Recommendations for Establishing a COVID-19 Workplace Vaccination Policy (PDF file). A workplace vaccination policy is an important measure employers can implement to protect their workers and the public.

For more information refer to the Vaccination Information for Employers section on the COVID-19 Resources for Businesses page.

  • A rapid antigen test (RAT) may be used to assess the likelihood that symptoms are related to COVID-19.
  • A positive RAT means it is extremely likely the worker has COVID-19, and they are required to self-isolate according to the criteria provided in the COVID-19 self-assessment (external link).
  • Positive RATs do NOT need to be reported to Halton Region Public Health.

If a worker has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate:

  • for at least five days if they are fully vaccinated (external PDF), or
  • for at least 10 days if they are over the age of 12 and not fully vaccinated, are immunocompromised, or live in a highest risk settings.

If the worker reaches the end of their isolation period and has a fever and/or other symptoms, they must continue to isolate until their symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if the symptoms affect the digestive system) and you have no fever.

Workers should visit Ontario.ca/exposed (external link) for more information.

If the worker attends one of the highest risk settings for their job, follow the sector-specific guidance that applies (external link).
  • If a symptomatic worker (who has not tested positive and has not been exposed to COVID-19) tests negative on two consecutive Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) separated by 24-48 hours, they are less likely to have a COVID-19 infection. The worker can end self-isolation when their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), and they do not have a fever. There is no minimum isolation period (for example, 5 or 10 days).

If a worker’s household member has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, they are not required to self-isolate if they:

  • have tested positive in the last 90 days and do not have symptoms;
  • are over 18 years of age and have received a COVID-19 booster dose; or
  • are under 18 years of age and are fully vaccinated (external PDF).

Instead, for 10 days after exposure, they must:

  • self-monitor for symptoms. If they develop symptoms, they should get tested if eligible and self-isolate immediately;
  • wear a mask and avoid activities where mask removal would be necessary; and
  • not visit anyone who is at higher risk of illness, such as seniors, or any highest risk settings (unless they previously tested positive in past 90 days).

If the worker does not meet any of the criteria above, they must isolate while their household members with symptoms or positive test result isolates (or for 10 days if they are immunocompromised).

  • For self-isolating household members that have not developed symptoms:
  • If any other household member develops COVID-19 symptoms (or tests positive for COVID-19), they should extend their self-isolation until the last symptomatic (or COVID-19 positive) person has finished their self-isolation period.
  • The initial person who had COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 does not have to extend their self-isolation period if other household members develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
  • If possible, identify and notify people who were in contact with the worker with COVID-19 during the time they could have spread their infection to others. This period begins 48 hours prior to the worker with COVID-19 developing symptoms (or 48 hours before they were tested if no symptoms).
  • Employers should direct contacts to take the COVID-19 self-assessment (external link) to determine whether they need to self-isolate.
  • As of December 30 2021, there is no longer a requirement for employers to report positive cases in the workplace to public health. Please do not contact Halton Region Public Health to report positive cases in the workplace. Due to the high number of Omicron cases in Ontario, individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 can be presumed to be positive.
  • If a worker has access to a rapid antigen test (RAT) and tests positive on Day 5 of self-isolation, it is likely that they are still infectious. It is recommended that the worker extend their isolation period to 10 days.
  • If the worker has access to additional tests, they can end their extended isolation period after one negative PCR test or two consecutive negative RATs separated by 24-48 hours.
  • There is no requirement to continue self-isolation past 10 days, so long as the worker does not have a fever and symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms). It is important to maintain masking, physical distancing and adherence to all other public health measures if leaving home, following isolation.

Regional Mask by-law FAQs

While the Mask By-law No. 47-20 has been rescinded, there are some settings where the provincial mask mandates are still in place until June 11, 2022. These include but are not limited to:

  • public transit
  • long-term care, retirement homes and other health-care settings
  • shelters, and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals.

Other situations when masking will continue to be required are when:

Effective March 21, 2022, Halton Region has rescinded its Mask By- Law No. 47-20 to align with the province lifting mask mandate for most settings. Learn more about when masks are still required.

Businesses may choose to request that employees and customers wear a mask.

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