UPDATED MARCH 14, 2022
As of March 14, 2022, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health announced that Directive 6 is no longer in effect, however health care organizations who have not already done so continue to be strongly encouraged to integrate immunization policies into their existing policies and procedures. To protect our patients, their caregivers and families, our staff and health system partners, Home and Community Care Support Services' mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy remains in place and all employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination has been a key component of our COVID-19 response and offers safe and effective protection against hospitalization and severe outcomes.
Home and Community Care Support Services staff and providers continue the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment, including masks and face shields, complete daily health screening and follow practices and guidelines set by Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of Health.
TORONTO, Sept 3, 2021 –Home and Community Care Support Services is implementing a mandatory vaccination policy that requires its staff across the province to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
On Tuesday, August 17, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health issued Directive #6 mandating that all hospitals and home and community care service providers implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees, physicians, contractors, students/learners and volunteers effective September 7, 2021. Organizations have the ability to put in place additional policies or measures based on their context.
The Home and Community Care Support Services Vaccine Policy requires all employees to provide documentation proving they are fully vaccinated. Staff who have a valid medical exemption will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing up to three times weekly.
"Home and Community Care Support Services values the health and safety of our staff, patients, families and health system partners and is committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19," says Interim CEO Donna Cripps. "While we respect each person's choice to be vaccinated or not, safety must remain a priority. Getting vaccinated is important for our collective health, so we are asking that our employees make the commitment to be fully vaccinated."
Home and Community Care Support Services is also working closely with all provincially contracted Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) to ensure their compliance with Directive #6. The SPOs provide care through nurses, personal support workers and other professional services to patients.
Additionally, Home and Community Care Support Services staff and providers continue to use Personal Protective Equipment, including masks and face shields, complete daily health screening and follow practices and guidelines set by Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of Health.
· On April 1, 2021, the 14 Local Health Integration Networks began operating under a new business name, Home and Community Care Support Services, to reflect a singular mandate to deliver home care and long-term care placement services and to provide referrals to community services.
· The Home and Community Care Support Services organizations are Crown agencies that serve over 674,000 patients per year.
· This renewed governance for home care is part of the government's plan to modernize home and community care as part of an integrated health care system providing coordinated care for patients through Ontario Health Teams. Ontario Health Teams will work together to understand a patient's full health care history, directly connect them to the different types of care they need and help patients 24/7 in navigating the health care system.
· There are no changes to how patients and caregivers access home and community care services.
· For information and referrals related to home and community care and long-term care home placement, patients can continue to call 310-2222 (English) or 310-2272 (French), no area code is required.
Director, Transition Communications and Engagement
Home and Community Care Support Services
About Home and Community Care Support Services
Home and Community Care Support Services (formerly known as Local Health Integration Networks) has a focused mandate to deliver local health care services such as home care, access to community services and long-term care home placement. These agencies previously had additional responsibilities for local health system funding and management, but these functions were transferred to and assumed by Ontario Health on April 1, 2021.
Home and Community Care Support Services is dedicated to ensuring the ongoing delivery of local services while Ontario makes changes to improve the health care system to give patients better connected care with health care providers working as one coordinated team in Ontario Health Teams.
Although these agencies are operating under new business names, services and contact information remain the same, including home and community care, long-term care home placement and help finding services and local doctors.