COVID-19 - Updates and Information

The College is one of many health system partners that are involved in daily teleconferences with the Ministry of Health and that receive daily Situation Reports.  

The Ministry of Health has dedicated web pages where you can learn how the Ministry is preparing for COVID-19 in Ontario. Every weekday at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Ministry's dedicated web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in the province. The page also provides information about how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick after you travel, and how to recognize possible symptoms.

Public Notice:
Claims about COVID-19

The College of Naturopaths of Ontario has become aware that some Members are promoting treatment or supplements as a means to boost the immune system and may imply that this will prevent infection from COVID-19.

 Any statements by naturopaths about the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19, beyond the information made available by public health authorities, are inappropriate, potentially harmful, and likely to violate the College's Standard of Practice for Advertising. When brought to the attention of the College, such statements will be forwarded to the Inquiries, Complaints & Reports Committee for investigation.

The College’s Standard of Practice for Advertising prohibits marketing and/or advertising that is false, inaccurate, reasonably capable of misleading the public, unverifiable, or contrary to the public interest in the practice of the profession.

Need more information about COVID-19?

The most important resources for health care providers and the public are the websites of the Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 website and Public Health Ontario.

For Members:
Mandatory Reporting

COVID-19 is a designated disease reportable under Ontario’s public health legislation. Naturopaths have a responsibility to report suspected cases of COVID-19 to their local public health unit.

Guidance Documents/Resources

The Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario have created a number of guidance documents for a variety of health sectors. These include Guidance for Primary Care Providers, Independent Health Facilities, and patient signage in a variety of languages. 

Patient Screening

As per the Ministry of Health’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Primary Care Providers in a Community Setting, primary care practitioners are being requested to conduct passive and active patient screening as follows:

  1. Passive screening
    • Signage should be posted on entry to the office and in reception areas for patients with symptoms to self-identify, perform hand hygiene, wear a procedure mask, and have access to tissue and a disposal bin.
    • All patients should be instructed to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing.
  2. Active screening in reception areas
    • Sample Screening
      • Is the patient presenting symptoms of:

      1. Fever, and/or onset of cough, or difficulty breathing,
      AND​
      2. Traveled outside of the country in the 14 days before the onset of the illness
      OR
      Had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
      OR
      Had close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has travelled outside of the country in the 14 days before their symptoms started.

    • Patients should be screened over the phone before scheduling appointments.
    • Where patients are present without phone screening, trained staff should screen patients upon entry using the above screening tool.
    • Staff conducting screening should ideally be behind a barrier to protect themselves from droplet/contact spread. A plexiglass barrier can protect reception staff from sneezing/ coughing patients. In screening areas where physical barriers cannot be put in place, staff should use, to the best of their ability, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns, surgical/procedure masks and eye protection.

Telepractice

Based on the Directive issued on March 20, 2020 by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, all non-essential services should cease or be reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions set out in the directive. The College is seeking clarification on this directive to telepractice and will provide more information once clarification is received.

Things to Keep in Mind

Ensure you follow the requirements of the College's Infection Control Standard, as well as, the best practices in infection prevention and personal hygiene, including:

  • Wash your hands! Check out these best practices in hand hygiene from Public Health Ontario.
  • Ensure that you have appropriate written infection prevention and control protocols in your practice setting and communicate these protocols to all staff.
  • Be sure to use appropriate personal protective equipment including gloves, gowns, fit tested N95 respirator, masks, and eye protection where necessary.
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth) and consider staying home if you feel unwell. Encourage your staff and patients to do the same.
  • Stay informed with reliable information.  Don't trust everything you read on the internet; instead, look to trustworthy sources like those mentioned above.

If you have any questions or need additional resources, contact College staff and they will point you in the right direction. Call 416-583-6010 (or 1-877-361-1925 toll free) or email general@collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca.

Keeping Members Informed

The College is communicating regularly with Members as warranted during the pandemic. Updates, including e-mail messages sent to College Members for whom we have a valid address are provided below.