On Monday, December 21, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced the details of a provincewide shutdown to come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 26, 2020. As noted in the government News Release, these “additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.”
The News Release provides a link to a detailed summary published by the Ministry of Health, Provincewide Shutdown – December 21, 2020. In describing “Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Restrictions” the section on Health care and social services lists:
- Regulated health professionals
- Professionals or organizations that provide in-person counselling services
- Organizations that provide health care including retirement homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, independent health facilities and mental health and addictions counselling supports
While this shutdown will have an impact on many businesses across the province, there were no changes announced which would specifically affect regulated health professionals. As a result, Directive #2 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health remains unchanged at this time.
As noted in previous updates, the College continues to recommend that members provide services virtually when this can be done effectively. When in-person service is necessary, members must continue to have employ adequate COVID-19 safeguards.
The provincewide shutdown was instituted in an effort to stem the rising community spread of COVID-19. The College urges members to do their part by complying with the restrictions and in encouraging clients/patients to do so when possible.
The College offices remain closed at this time, but the business of the College continues remotely. We are endeavouring to operate “business as usual” and thank members, applicants and other stakeholders for their patience during this challenging time.
To review the College’s previous updates please visit our COVID-19 webpage.
Have a safe and happy holiday season,
Rick Morris, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Registrar & Executive Director