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Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario      


We had a FANTASTIC day at RNAO’s 20th annual Queen’s Park Day. Shining a light on the key health issues affecting nursing practice and the health of Ontarians, 130 RNAO leaders engage in vibrant conversations with about 40 MPPs from all parties, including Premier Doug Ford, Minister Christine Elliott, NDP health critic France Gelinas, interim leader of the Liberal Part John Fraser, and leader of the Green Party Mike Schreiner. 

Here is today’s update on COVID-19 outbreak.

Canadian passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan who did not test positive for COVID-19 are on a charter flight that took off from Tokyo airport and is expected to arrive at CFB Trenton in Ontario early Friday morning. After arrival, they will be assessed and transported to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ontario, to undergo a further 14-day period of quarantine. Before boarding in Japan, passengers were tested and screened for symptoms. According to media reports, there were 256 Canadians on the ship, which has been docked in Yokohama since early February. Of those, 47 have tested positive for COVID-19, and are not among those returning to Canada on the repatriation flight. On Thursday, Japan said another 13 people from the ship had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to more than 630. The increase came after local media reported that two Japanese citizens who had contracted the virus while on the ship had died. The two patients who died, an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, had both tested positive for the virus although the woman's cause of death was listed as pneumonia, the Health Ministry said. Two government officials who had worked on the ship were infected, it added, bringing the number of infected officials to five.

Update regarding the people who have been in quarantine at CFB Trenton To date, there are no COVID-19 positive cases among Canadians and their families repatriated from Wuhan, China. Those that arrived at CFB Trenton on Feb. 7th are completing their 14-day quarantine and due to be sent home tomorrow, Friday. Those that arrive on Feb. 11, have five days of quarantine left. I can just imagine the excitement of those released tomorrow after this long and stressful ordeal. Let’s hope that all continues well in the hours ahead and they can go home and enjoy their newfound “freedom!” On behalf of Ontario’s RN, NPs and nursing students we wish them well!!!!!    

Attached here is situational report #26 from the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), received this evening. The number of confirmed cases reported this morning in the federal government’s website is eight, with three persons in Ontario and five in British Columbia. All except one (a patient in London, Ontario, who is resolved with two negative tests), are recovering at home in self-isolation. In Ontario, at this time, there are 14 persons under investigation with lab results pending. Important materials received from EOC today include; Training Bulletin #120 here, Bulletin de formation #120 here, Memo re-Training Bulleting #120 here, COVID-19 Caregivers Fact Sheet in English here, COVID-19 Caregivers Fact Sheet in French here, COVID-19 Self-Isolation Fact Sheet in English here, and Covid-19 Caregivers Fact Sheet in French here. Huge THANKS to the EOC Team for their outstanding work! 

Many thanks to you all for continuing to safeguard our supplies to make sure we have them should we need them. Please continue to remind colleagues that personal protective equipment (PPE) are to be used only when there is a need, as per the EOC guidelines. Health care providers facing immediate supply needs regarding PPE can email the ministry at

A reminder to all to be up-to-date on EOC information:

Situation Report 31 from the WHO updates that worldwide, there are 75,748 confirmed (548 new) cases of COVID-19 and 2129 deaths (120 new), mainly in China. Noticeably, 5 of the deaths happened outside China. One new country (Islamic Republic of Iran) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

China has revised their guidance on case classification for COVID-19, removing the classification of “clinically diagnosed” previously used for Hubei province, and retaining only “suspected” and “confirmed” for all areas, the latter requiring laboratory confirmation. Some previously reported “clinically diagnosed” cases are thus expected to be discarded over the coming days as laboratory testing is conducted and some are found to be COVID-19-negative.

In early January, following the notification of the occurrence of cases of COVID-19 among travelers from Wuhan, China, WHO established a Global Surveillance System to collect and organize essential information to describe and monitor COVID-19. All WHO regions have implemented the reporting of COVID-19 cases either through existing or newly-established data collection systems. Please see Situation Report 31 for more information.

Several  online  courses  related  to  COVID-19  have  been  added  to  the OpenWHO platform:

A general  introduction to emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronaviruses

Critical Care of Severe Acute Respiratory Infections

Health and safety briefing for respiratory diseases - ePROTECT

Based on the evidence currently available about COVID-19, WHO has developed guidance documents for managing public health events at points of entry and mass gatherings. These are posted on the WHO COVID-19 Points of Entry and Mass Gatherings website.

RNAO policy corner: A commentary from the WHO reports on the scientific effort to step up to the challenge. On Feb 10–12, 2020, WHO brought almost 400 scientists together for a research and innovation forum on the new coronavirus. Urgent priorities and work plans were identified by the scientists. These included understanding human transmission of the new virus; the role of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and aprons; optimizing clinical management; preventive interventions to protect health workers treating patients with the disease; and studying the effects of restrictions on movement, such as with mass quarantines. The forum also addressed important social and behavioural questions, including effective ways to address fear, rumours, and stigma; optimal strategies to promote adherence to public health measures; how to involve communities in the design, delivery, and dissemination of clinical research findings; and how to work with the media on public health messaging. Looking forward, the emphasis was on better preparation, especially important in low resourced/poorer countries, where resource-intensive interventions are unfortunately not an option.

Continue to let us know if you or your teams experience challenges, with 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 COVID-19 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. The WHO has provided an excellent link for you to share with members of the public here.

RNAO THANKS again and again, all health professionals in Ontario, BC, and abroad, especially in China. We are inspired by your expertise and dedication!  

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


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