Cross-border truck drivers don’t need to wait 14 days for doctor visits, college says

TORONTO, Ont. – The College of Physicians of Ontario is confirming that essential workers do not need to quarantine for 14 days before an in-person visit with a doctor, even if crossing the Canada-U.S. border in the course of their jobs. Essential workers like truck drivers are not required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to Canada, even though the rule applies to other people entering the country.

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“Recognizing that these individuals have been deemed essential workers and exempted from the quarantine and isolation rules set out by the federal government, the college is supportive of physicians exercising their clinical judgment regarding how to best care for these patients when they screen positive solely because of work-related travel,” the group says in a notice distributed by the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). “An immediate deferral of in-person care or redirection to another facility is not necessary in these instances provided appropriate safety precautions can be met.

If there is no opportunity to see a patient following a 14-day window without travel across the border or a negative Covid-19 test, physicians can arrange to see the patient for any in-person care if they can satisfy the recommended precautions to do so safely.” The precautions include isolating the individuals as soon as they arrive, and using appropriate personal protective equipment. The clarification comes in the wake of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) asking to review related policies, to help ensure symptom-free drivers who have not tested positive for Covid-19 can receive the same medical services offered to other Ontario residents.

“The trucking industry would like to thank CPSO for intervening in this matter,” said OTA policy director Lak Shoan. “This policy should ensure that all cross-border truck drivers receive the same medical attention as all other essential workers and Ontarians.”

The OTA says it is asking to review policies of colleges that oversee dental, massage therapy, and chiropractic services as well.

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