COVID-19 Advisory: Reinstatement of Directive #2

Posted On: January 6, 2022

On January 3, 2022, the Premier announced new public health measures to blunt the exponential growth of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Ontario. During the press conference, it was made clear that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health would be reinstating Directive #2. At the time, the Directive was not yet available; however, it was published late afternoon on January 5, 2022.

The directive specifically applies to:

  • Health professionals or group practices of health professionals in public hospitals.
  • Health professionals or group practices of health professionals in private hospitals or Independent Health Facilities (as defined in the respective legislation).

The directive is intended to restrict surgical procedures that are non-emergent or non-urgent where a patient could be required to be taken to hospital for urgent care because of a surgical or related procedure.

It is the view of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario that Directive #2 does not apply to services provided by Registrants in private practice.

Although Directive #2 may not directly apply, Registrants are nevertheless advised as follows:

  • Whenever possible, patient care should be provided by telepractice to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 among patients, Registrants and clinic staff.
  • In-person care should be provided when, in your professional opinion, in-person care is necessary in the best interests of the patient and in due consideration of COVID-19 Operational Requirements as set out by the Ministry of Health, including requirements for:
      • Risk assessments
      • Hazard controls
      • Screening
      • Physical capacity/environment
      • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies
      • Human resources
      • Infection prevention and control
      • Essential visitors and
      • Occupational Health and Safety.

The status of practice based on the re-issuing of Directive #2 places Registrants in a similar position to that which existed in May 2020.  It is recommended that Registrants review the Ministry of Health’s Guidance for the Health Sector for the most up-to-date information.

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