Due to confirmed cases of the highly contagious U.K. B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19, Toronto Public Health is asking people who oversee the daily operations of facilities, such as long-term care homes, correction facilities and child care centres to ramp up infection prevention and control measures (IPAC).
In a memorandum posted today, fueled by the outbreak at Roberta Place long-term care home in Barrie, health officials urged facilities to review, audit and reinforce consistent implementation of their current IPAC measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and any variant.
These measures include:
- Passive and active screening for visitors and staff (be sure to screen for recent travel)
- Universal masking
- Personal protective equipment
- Proper hand hygiene
- Physical distancing
- Environmental cleaning
- Surveillance testing
The Public Health Ontario Laboratory is now conducting surveillance for COVID-19 variants and has developed indications to test for them. Should new variants be identified, they would be promptly reported to Toronto Public Health.