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Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario      

 

Dear RNAO member,

Happy Sunday! From what we hear, the Canadians repatriated from Wuhan and who are quarantined at CFB Trenton for 14 days (12 days remaining), are doing well and recovering at this time mainly from their jetlag. Let’s hope it remains this way and they can at the end of the quarantine go home and happily enjoy their families and friends.  

Please see here the situational report #16 dated Feb. 09, 2020, which came from the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

The virus has infected 37,594 and killed 811, in China. Their authorities continue to restrict 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 is only 1 person under investigation with lab results pending. Although this is very positive news, we ask all to keep vigilance and not let down our guard; as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure – and this is particularly true in regards to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).   

The EOC is actively reviewing guidance materials based on the change, communicated to you on Friday, to the case definition (travel history has been expanded to mainland China) and will issue new versions as they are finalized.

We hope that you have shared broadly with health professional 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 EOCLogistics.MOH@ontario.ca.

We thank you for your emails which have mostly expressed appreciation for these daily updates. We received two questions during the weekend to which we have responded directly. A reminder to all to be up-to-date on EOC information: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/2019_guidance.aspx.

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 dgrinspun@rnao.ca. 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 www.rnao.ca which we update daily. The WHO has provided an excellent link for you to share with members of the public here. To Canadians currently quarantined in the cruise ships, and in particular those who are 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 cruise 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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