All candidates must review OFAI’s COVID-19 screening protocols and policies below prior to booking your testing through the online testing calendar. You understand that failure to comply with OFAI’S COVID-19 screening protocols and policies could result in a cancelled test and that falsifying any information regarding our COVID-19 testing protocols could result in your expulsion from the OFAI Candidate Testing Program.
A virus known as COVID-19, is causing an outbreak of respiratory (lung) disease. The severity of this illness can vary from person to person. COVID-19 can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can appear in a few days or up to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. For some people, the symptoms are like having a cold; for others they may be severe or life-threatening. The virus is transmitted via droplets during close, unprotected contact with an infected person, or by touching an infected surface and then the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Symptoms of COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe.
The most common symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and runny nose. Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure and, in some cases, death. If you have any of these symptoms, YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO TEST WITH OFAI. If you begin to feel symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and self-isolate immediately and take a self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care. Only call 911 if it is an emergency.
COVID-19 is spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.
There are things you should do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus that causes the disease.
Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sneeze and cough into your sleeve, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, avoid contact with people who are sick, stay home if you are sick.
Everyone must practice physical distancing to reduce exposure to other people — this means staying at least two metres away from anyone. You are required to use a face covering (non-medical mask such as a cloth mask or bandana) to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 while at the test facility.
All candidates must pre-screen/self-assess prior to your arrival at the test facility. The self-assessment/screening can be found at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ . You will also be required to complete screening prior to entering the testing facility.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious health threat to everyone globally. We take the health and safety of all candidates and evaluation staff seriously. It is your responsibility to ensure you are healthy prior to testing. Falsifying any information related to our COVID-19 policies could result in your expulsion from the OFAI Candidate Testing Program.
Onsite Vaccination Policy
Starting June 20, 2022, OFAI no longer requires proof of vaccination from CTS candidates testing on-site at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI).
Candidates will still be expected to complete mandatory COVID-19 pre-screening when attending the test facility and comply with the following measures:
Candidates must provide your own mask, and wear it properly (good fit that covers the nose and mouth) at all times at the test facility unless otherwise directed by the evaluation team for reasons related to testing i.e. donning SCBA/V02 mask.
Candidates must maintain physical distancing, which means staying at least 2 metres (or 6 feet) away, from all others candidates at the test facility.
Candidates are required to follow the entry and exit points accordingly at the test facility, and as directed by the evaluation team.
Mandatory COVID-19 Pre-Screening Questions
All candidates must complete a mandatory pre-screening at our test facility prior to completing their assessment(s) . The screening questions you will be required to answer are found below. Please review these questions carefully BEFORE attending the test facility. If you are unable to answer the questions as required, do not book your assesssment and please contact our Administration office at 905-426-6756
For the following questions you must clearly answer “NO” . If your answer is “YES” to any of these questions, you are not cleared to proceed with booking your assessment/testing and you must contact the OFAI Administration office.
1. Do you have one or more of the COVID-19 symptoms below? New worsening and not related to other known causes or conditions you already have:
- Fever and/or chills – Temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Cough or barking cough (croup) – Continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing (not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, COPD, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
- Shortness of breath – Out of breath, unable to breathe deeply (not related to asthma or other known causes or conditions you already have)
- Decrease or loss of taste or smell not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders, or other known causes or conditions you already have
- Extreme tiredness – unusual, fatigue, lack of energy (not related to getting a COVID-19 vaccine and/or flu shot in the last 48 hours, depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
- Sore throat – Painful or difficulty swallowing (not related to post-nasal drip, acid reflux, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
- Runny or stuffy/congested nose – Not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather, or other known causes or conditions you already have
- Headache – New, unusual, long-lasting (not related to getting a COVID-19 vaccine and/or flu shot in the last 48 hours, tension-type headaches, chronic migraines, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
- Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea – Not related to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps, medication side effects, or other known causes or conditions you already have
2. Has a doctor, health care provider, or public health unit told you that you should currently be isolating (staying at home)?
3. In the last five (5) days, have you tested positive on a rapid antigen test or home-based self-testing kit?
4. In the last five (5) days, have you been identified as a “close contact” of someone who currently has COVID-19 (confirmed by a PCR or rapid antigen test)?If public health has advised you that you do not need to self-isolate, select “No.”
5. In the last five (5) days, has someone you live with:
- been sick with symptoms associated with COVID-19? and/or
- tested positive for COVID-19 (on a rapid antigen test or PCR test)?
Admittance into the Test Facility
Due to COVID-19, admittance into the test facility has changed. You are required to follow the procedure below:
- Upon arrival, there will be a board located outside of the main doors at the test facility (FESTI) with a QR code. QR codes are square barcodes (two-dimensional barcodes) that provides or stores information in a machine-readable optical label. The data contained by a QR code can be anything from simple text to website links, to contact information and more. QR codes, are scanned using the camera on any smart device.
- Scan the QR code with you smart device. If you do not have a smart device, there will be an indicated button outside the main doors for you to press for further assistance.
- Once the QR code is scanned, it will prompt you to open a website that contains a questionnaire. This must be completed in order to proceed with testing.
- Complete the entire questionnaire, including the digital COVID-19 screening form. We also collect your phone number to assist with contacting you at the facility that day, and for the purpose of contact tracing.
- Once the questionnaire is completed, you will head to the cafeteria to await further instructions from a CTS team member regarding your testing procedure.
- Please have a copy of your testing receipt from our office with you. Your OFAI receipt contains a barcode that is applicable to you which you will need after the above steps. A digital or printed copy is fine.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are healthy prior to testing. Falsifying information on our COVID-19 testing protocols could result in your expulsion from the OFAI Candidate Testing Program. There are no exemptions or exceptions to this policy.