PRI Staff COVID Update – May 11, 2022

Dear PRI Staff,

Further to our staff meeting discussion, we continue to gradually update Covid 19 policies to align more closely with general provincial guidance — rather than those of a high-risk congregate care setting. Our new policies will allow us to apply increased discretion depending on the levels of COVID-19 risk in the organization and in the community.

Protocol Update


For students, we are eliminating the need for an initial PCR test at the time of symptom onset   

Instead,  if a student is presenting with COVID-like symptoms (refer to symptom guide)

  • they are to isolate on bed rest and be monitored
  • they will be given a rapid antigen test right away
  • the ability to isolate will be determined based on room availability as outlined in SOMP. As our vacant rooms become filled, isolation is  based on a best efforts basis, ( isolation room then ill students grouped together or ill student wearing a mask in their room 

If the rapid test is positive, they are to isolate for 5 days; provided they are fully vaccinated, and their symptoms have resolved for 24 hours, they may then rejoin the community.

If the rapid test is negative and their symptoms improve after 24 hours, they are to take a second rapid test.  After two negative rapid tests, they can return to the community.

If the symptoms continue or worsen beyond 24 hours, the student will be provided/or taken for a PCR test and will continue in isolation until the results are received.


Staff can, of course, continue to get PCR tests at the onset of symptoms and isolate at home if they choose. Or, staff who are presenting with COVID-like symptoms may choose to isolate themselves at home and follow the same protocols as outlined for students (above).

Updated symptom list

This list is attached and will be posted in the nurse’s office.

  • Primary Covid symptoms – immediate isolation and a rapid antigen test
  • Secondary Covid symptoms – two or more symptoms – then isolation and rapid antigen test.

Note what is potentially “ normal” health history for the student (allergies, current medications, other factors), in which case, treat appropriately.

Review of Updated Program/Cleaning Procedures

  • Staff, students, and visitors will continue to wear masks until at least June 11th as per the MOH Class Order issued on April 25th
  • While we are no longer wearing visors,  they will still be required during point-of-care assessments (donning of full PPE), when students are unwell
  • We will move from an active screening process to a passive screening process, which means staff will self-screen before coming to work.  We will no longer be asking questions upon entry or recording your temperature effective Tuesday, May 3
  • Staff will continue to RAT on the schedule previously outlined, and we will re-evaluate this protocol on June 11th. Test kits will continue to be available. Screening signage will remain posted upon entry.
  • Family visits will continue outdoors with siblings and indoors, such as in the Art Cabin or designated spaces in Moffat House. Visits occurring in Moffat House will require visitors to enter through the back entrance, and masking is to be maintained until at least June 11th.  Families will continue to RAT before the visit
  • Clinical groups have resumed. Masking and social distancing while in these groups will be maintained until June 11th.
  • All recreational groups will resume effective May 3. Mask and social distancing while in these groups will be maintained until June 11th.
  • Dining with staff at tables will resume effective May 2 at dinner
  • Given space restrictions, we will need to keep TWO dining hall seatings; however, as the outdoor weather improves and we have the tent set up,  we will look to integrate full community lunches on various days
  • Our cleaning team will resume a pre covid cleaning schedule effective May 3rd. Students are asked to wipe off their tables once they have finished their meals

Review of Close Contacts

Student Close Contacts 

Students no longer need to isolate if they are:  

  • Asymptomatic and 
  • Over 18 and boostered/Under 18 and fully-vaccinated 
  • OR, they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days 

Students will;

  • Be diligent about mask-wearing outside of their bedroom
  • Continue with their programming (though programming will be curtailed/managed to take into consideration community transmission and the needs of the students) 
  • Have surveillance rapid tests during this period of time

Unvaccinated students who are close contacts are required to isolate for 5 days and monitor symptoms from days 5-10. 

Staff Close Contacts 

Staff no longer need to self-isolate if you live with a COVID-positive individual provided you are:  

  • Asymptomatic 
  • Boostered 
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days. 

Staff will:

  • Self monitor for symptoms for 10 days
  • Be diligent about mask-wearing while at work
  • Maintain social distance during meals
  • Increase surveillance rapid antigen testing

If the staff member is supporting an unvaccinated student, alternative schedules will need to be implemented during days 5-10.

A reminder all Covid communications are available on the website under Work For Us, drop down to Staff Updates.

Password: COVIDUpdates2022

Covidoncall@pineriverinstitute remains active for all questions after hours.