How does Step One of Ontario’s
Roadmap to Reopen affect RVTs?
The provincial government has announced that the Roadmap to Reopen will begin with Stage One this Friday, June 11. This new framework will apply across all regions of the province. Each phase will be based on provincial vaccination thresholds as well as other key indicators and have a minimum 21-day waiting period before entering the next stage.
Advice for RVTs in the workplace:
- In Step One, changes permit clients to enter clinics and other businesses, but individual businesses may still determine their level of comfort in allowing this. If and when a workplace does decide to allow individuals inside, provincial COVID-19 standard precautions must still be observed, including physical distancing, limits to capacity and wearing face coverings indoors and wherever physical distancing is not possible.
- Any workplace with five or more positive COVID-19 cases within a 14-day span, where it is reasonable that the employees may have become infected as a result of contact in the workplace, Public Health Units (PHUs) will continue to require that business to shut down operations for 10 days.
- While the province has not detailed capacity limits specifically for indoor veterinary services, the OAVT suggests following the capacity limits set out for most indoor services in Step One. This means that maximum capacity should be no more than 15% beginning on June 11. Step Two will increase maximum capacity to 25%, and Step Three would allow the return to regular operations.
- To aid in safety and operational efficiency, businesses may consider providing clients with telehealth options where appropriate, and using curbside pickup for medications and other over-the-counter items such as pet food.
- The OAVT continues to encourage the full utilization of RVTs to support efficient and effective animal care.
- Encourage staff to get vaccinated. Additional vaccination information can be found at https://oavt.org/covid-19-vaccinations/.
- Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch items, surfaces and washrooms.
REMINDER: Until the pandemic is declared over, masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing, staff and visitor screening are still required. Staff and clients should continue to follow public health guidelines regardless of their vaccination status.
For more information on the Roadmap to Reopen, see the government of Ontario’s website.