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SJHH / Coronavirus/ HCW COVID Testing and Isolation

Return to Work Guidance following reduction of pandemic protocols

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Office has created the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help guide you to answers to any question you may have.

We expect healthcare workers to follow current guidelines; if you are experiencing symptoms do not come into work, notify your manager, and follow the current Covid-19 return-to-work guidelines.

The COVID Hotline is now the OHS Support Line and operates from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.


I am having COVID-19 illness like symptoms or have have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Can I work?

As of April 3, 2023 HCWs are asked to conduct screening for the following five (5) symptoms only:

  1. cough
  2. fever
  3. shortness of breath
  4. sore throat
  5. loss of taste/smell

If you feel unwell and have a collection of these symptoms (i.e. 2 or more) and are unsure if you should work, please call the Employee Health for direction.

If you have 1 of these symptoms and work on a unit that is in Outbreak or High Alert, please call the Employee Health for direction.

Employee Health

When can I return to work?

Effective April 1, 2023, HCWs experiencing symptoms can return to work, without clearance from Employee Health, when:

  • Symptoms are resolving and have been improving for 24 hours;
  • Healthcare worker has been fever-free for at least 24 hours;
  • Healthcare worker has not had gastro-intestinal symptoms for at least 48 hours.
  • No testing will be required if these criteria are met.

Note that mild lingering symptoms of cough, mild congestion and/or use of inhalers does not restrict return to work.

Upon returning to work, HCWs must follow workplace self-isolation until 10 days after symptom onset, including:

  • Wearing a well-fitted medical mask
  • Taking breaks alone
  • Not carpooling unless masked while in the car/within six feet walking to and from workplace
Is COVID related illness automatically excluded from Attendance Support Program?

Similar to other absences, managers will complete the 4-day absence notification, when prompted.

HCWs experiencing symptoms should:

  • Speak with their manager
  • Call Employee Health (Ext. 33344) and leave a detailed message with your name, unit, contact information. 

Recognizing the volume of calls Employee Health may receive, there may be a slight delay in a return call.

Someone in my household is self-isolating because of contact with someone with COVID-19. Can I work?
  • Yes, you can work with the following work self isolation guidelines:

    • Monitor for symptoms for 10 days. If symptoms develop, follow symptomatic guidance and/ call Employee Health (Ext. 33344)
    • Wearing a well-fitted medical mask
    • Taking breaks alone
    • Not carpooling unless masked while in the car/within six feet walking to and from workplace
Do I need to do rapid antigen/PCR testing?
  • Only as directed by IPAC or Employee Health for outbreak or high alert unit management.
I have had a positive rapid antigen test, what do I do?
  • Do not come into work, or go home immediately
  • Call Employee Health – ext. 33344
  • Tell your manager
  • You can return to work if... *please refer to section, "When can I return to work?"
Screening for Outbreak and High Alert Units

Required as directed by IPAC.

If you have any questions, please contact Occupational Health and Safety or call Employee Health (ext. 33344).