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Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario      

Good Friday everyone,

Welcome to the Canadians from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who arrived today from Japan and are in Cornwall beginning their 14 day quarantine period. We wish them well and are here to support you with encouragement and good wishes. 

Today was a happy day for the first group of Canadians and their family members, who had arrived at CFB Trenton on Feb. 7th as they completed their 14-day quarantine, and were released to go to their homes. Those who arrived on Feb. 11 have four days of quarantine left. We are thinking of you and we know you too are counting the days to go home.     

Attached here is situational report #27 from the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), received this evening. The number of confirmed cases in Canada reported by EOC is nine, with three persons in Ontario and six in British Columbia. All three Ontario cases have now deemed resolved after two negative tests. In Ontario, at this time, there are 12 persons under investigation with lab results pending. No new materials were distributed today by EOC.

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) is 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 32 from the WHO updates that worldwide, there are 76,769 confirmed (1021 new) cases of COVID-19 and 2247 deaths (118 new), largely in China. Of these, 1,200 confirmed (127 new) cases are in 26 other countries. No new countries 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. See Situation Report 31.

The new COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. WHO is coordinating an effort to understand the potential for persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on foods traded internationally as well as the potential role of food in the transmission of the virus. The most likely ecological reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2 are bats, but it is believed that the virus jumped the species barrier to humans from another intermediate animal host. This intermediate animal host could be a domestic food animal, a wild animal, or a domesticated wild animal which has not yet been identified. Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. To date, there have not been any reports of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus through food. As a precautionary rule, the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, raw milk or raw animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods. For details, see Situation Report 32.

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.

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.

Many thanks to all health professionals in Ontario, BC, and abroad, especially in China who inspire us daily with their work!  

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


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