Happy Sunday RNAO members!
A reminder of RNAO’s updated daily communications for this second month of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada: You are receiving summary updates on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – inclusive of Ontario’s Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Situational Report, and World Health Organization (WHO) Situational Report. In addition, you are receiving on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, longer updates such as the one you will receive tomorrow, which includes more details. To see previous updates visit RNAO updates and resources on COVID-19 for members and other health professionals. Feel free to share any and all updates with other health professionals at home or abroad.
MOH EOC Situational Report #43 here. The number of confirmed cases in Canada reported by EOC today is 63 cases. This includes a new case reported today in Ontario which bring our province to a cumulative total to 29 (this includes 4 resolved cases). EOC reports that in Ontario, at this time, we have 55 persons under investigation with lab results pending.
I am also including again and urge you to read the memo sent on Friday by our COVID-19 Command Centre Leadership.
Since we received the EOC report, media updates indicate two new cases in Alberta and one new case in Quebec – bringing the total in Canada to 66 (29 in Ontario, 4 in Quebec, 4 in Alberta and 27 in BC). We also have news that the Canadian Government will repatriate Canadians passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship in the eastern seaboard of USA.
Another essential resource is Health Canada's website on COVID-19. It provides the best information capturing all of Canada. It contains an outbreak update, Canada's response to the virus, travel advice, symptoms and treatment, and resources for health professionals. This is, again, a vital resource for those following the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has developed two new guidance documents for health system partners. The first, regarding community-based measures to mitigate the spread in Canada, and the second on informed decision making related to mass gatherings.
Situation Report 47 from WHO updates that worldwide there are 105,586 confirmed cases (3,656 new) and 3,584 deaths (98 new) in 101 countries (8 new). The vast majority of the new cases are outside China. There are 7,134 confirmed cases in South Korea (367 new). Other countries to note are Iran (with 5,823 cases, 1,076 new), Italy (with 5,883 confirmed cases, 1,247 new), Germany (with 795), France (with 706), Japan (with 455), Spain (with 430) and Switzerland (with 264). In all these countries the main form of transmission is local. The total number of confirmed cases aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship is 696. Eight new countries (Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Maldives, Malta, Martinique, and Republic of Moldova) have reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
You can also find up-to-date global numbers in Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE.
WHO has issued a consolidated package of existing preparedness and response guidance for countries to enable them to slow and stop COVID-19 transmission and save lives. WHO is urging all countries to prepare for the potential arrival of COVID-19 by readying emergency response systems; increasing capacity to detect and care for patients; ensuring hospitals have the space, supplies and necessary personnel; and developing life-saving medical interventions. The page includes two modules:
1. Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions: WHO has defined four transmission scenarios for COVID-19: 1. Countries with no cases (No cases); 2. Countries with 1 or more cases, imported or locally detected (Sporadic cases); 3. Countries experiencing cases clusters in time, geographic location and/or common exposure (Clusters of cases); and 4. Countries experiencing larger outbreaks of local transmission (Community transmission). This document describes the preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19 for each transmission scenario.
2. Responding to community spread of COVID-19: This document provides technical guidance for government authorities, health workers, and other key stakeholders to guide response to community spread. It will be updated as new information or technical guidance become available. For countries that are already preparing or responding, this document can also serve as a checklist to identify any remaining gaps.
Real-time training is critical for effective preparedness and response. WHO has several COVID-19 online resources for health professionals, decision-makers and the public in multiple languages. Please see the COVID-19 courses on OpenWHO here.
Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a major factor in preventive and mitigation measures for COVID-19. To ensure evidence-based quality guidance and prompt response to global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), WHO has convened the IPC expert global network of specialists from around the world since the beginning of the outbreak. In consultation with this global IPC expert network, WHO has released three key IPC interim guidance materials. One of these is the Rational use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19. This document summarizes WHO recommendations for the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care and community settings, including the handling of cargo.
Critical: Please review the proper donning and doffing of PPE; guidelines can be found here.
RNAO supports the Ontario government’s approach to 1) continue our public health and collective efforts to prevent, or at least delay, the spread, and 2) preparing all sectors for a possible large-scale spread so we are confident we can effectively respond. We are particularly stressing the importance of: 1) community care preparedness with off-site assessment centres and virtual care, 2) long-term care careful screening and preparedness, and 3) general public preparedness.
We urge you to continue to educate yourself and others on how to diminish the risk of transmission. You can see the WHO recommendations for prevention here
Continue to keep us informed of questions and/or challenges of any kind, and especially shortages of PPE. Send these to me at email@example.com. You can also use 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.
Ontario’s 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 www.rnao.ca which we update daily. The WHO has provided an excellent link for you to share with members of the public here.
I hope that those who are not working today had a chance to rest and relax. COVID-19 will likely be with us for a while, so it is important that we work hard to be ahead of the curve, and also take care of ourselves. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control states that “Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict how long the outbreak will last and how the epidemic will unfold. We are dealing with a new virus and therefore a lot of uncertainty remains. For instance, it is not known whether transmission… will naturally decrease during the northern hemisphere summer, as is observed for seasonal influenza.” Check this here.
RNAO’s COVID-19 Mantra: Let’s remain informed, calm and resolved – through collaboration we will tackle the COVID-19 challenge together! And, apropos, togetherness, here is an important article for you to read and a tweet to retweet J
Doris Grinspun, RN,MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, O.ONT
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