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Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario      


Dear RNAO member,

We hope you are having a good Saturday. As we heard yesterday 213 Canadians were evacuated from Wuhan and are being quarantined at CFB Trenton for 14 days, to protect themselves and others. We hear all is going well.

Please see here the situational report #15 dated Feb. 08, 2020, which we just received from the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

The virus has infected 34,598 cases in China and killed 723. Authorities in China have restricted travel to contain the outbreak.

The number of confirmed cases reported to us today by the EOC, in Canada, is unchanged – seven; three of these in Ontario and four in BC.  All are recovering at home in self-isolation. In Ontario, at this time, there are 18 persons under investigation with lab results pending.

The EOC is actively reviewing guidance materials based on the change, communicated to you yesterday, to the case definition (travel history has been expanded to mainland China) and will issue new versions as they are finalized. See attached a revised (typo only) instruction sheet here for persons of the public regarding the Novel Coronavirus in Ontario and what to do in the event they have been asked to self-isolate.

We recommend that you share broadly with colleagues the excellent Q&A distributed on Thursday re- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supply, Distribution and Stewardship. We want to reinforce the importance of Stewardship, as supplies are precious for us and others all over the world. Remind colleagues that health professionals’ need for supplies, including N95 masks, are being attended according to risk assessment. Health care providers – in particular acute care settings and paramedic services – facing immediate supply needs regarding personal protective equipment can email the ministry at

RNAO wants to continue to hear from you and your teams should you be experiencing any challenges – please send your emails directly to me at You can also access the health provider hotline and website regarding questions about the outbreak, protocols, preparedness, and more. The toll free number is 1-866-212-2272, and the health provider website, updated regularly with useful resources, can be accessed here. An important reminder that the health provider website and the toll free number are for you – as a health professional – and not for members of the general public.

The ministry’s public website on the Novel Coronavirus exists to inform the general public – encourage your family and friends to access this public website. We also have information for the public on our website at which we update daily.

We appreciate and thank government and public health officials for their outstanding work and responsiveness to our questions and recommendations, and for bringing Canadians back home. 

To the Canadian citizens repatriated from Wuhan: We hear all is going well, and we are thinking of you!

To Canadians, being quarantined on the ships – especially the seven confirmed cases: We know the stress you are undergoing and hope to have you all back home soon!

To all our health professionals in Ontario – especially the ones deployed to CFB Trenton, to those working in the ships, and the thousands of professionals dedicating their expertise to the people in China and other affected countries: We are with you, wishing you health and success in conquering this virus and saving lives.  Please accept huge THANKS from your colleagues in Ontario, Canada!!!!!!!!

Doris Grinspun, RN,MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, O.ONT
Chief Executive Officer, RNAO



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Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)
158 Pearl Street, Toronto, ON M5H 1L3.
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