Dear Colleagues: Welcome to our Friday, July 17 report – now in the sixth month of COVID-19 in Ontario. Visit the COVID-19 Portal for the many resources RNAO offers on COVID-19 You can refer to earlier update reports here, including thematic pieces in my blog. RNAO media hits and releases on the pandemic can be found here. Daily Situational Reports from Ontario's MOH EOC can be found here. Feel free to share this report or these links with anyone interested – they are public.
Continuing to pursue family reunification
RNAO’s push for family reunification continued this week by laying out a step-by-step process by which LTC homes can bring this about in a safe, humane and responsible way. See, next, RNAO’s press release on Wednesday, July 15.
RNAO calls on government to immediately reunite families with their loved ones in all long-term care homes in Ontario
RNAO urges the Ontario government to immediately direct all nursing homes in Ontario to reunite residents with their loved ones, including those in nursing homes experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. RNAO’s call is driven by the need to address a basic human right, and also to provide the foundational person- and family-centred care that is critical to quality of life for LTC residents and their families.
RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth says the process addresses RNAO’s consultations with families and emerging evidence that restrictions on family visits in the name of safety have resulted in more harm than good. Such restrictions are now considered unethical, inhumane and unsafe.
“As nurses, we can no longer support the imposed restrictions most nursing homes have placed on family members. There is no evidence for it and the harm caused is significant. RNAO will continue to do everything in its power to ensure families and residents reunite in a meaningful and fulsome way. We will also urge that these rights not be taken away when COVID-19 outbreaks occur. Our process provides the necessary structure long-term care operators need, and gives residents and their families the respect and speedy attention they deserve,” Hoffarth says. “For families, this means being able to provide the emotional support their loved one yearns for, as well as assist with personal care, such as help with eating, hydration and toileting. Families and (friends) play a vital role in residents’ health and well-being. We want the government to honour these relationships by immediately heeding our advice.”
Update: Hours after RNAO’s press release, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton announced Wednesday the new rules that will permit indoor visits of two friends or relatives at a time, starting July 22. Before entering the home, all visitors will be required to attest they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past 14 days. Outside visits, which began June 18, no longer require a COVID test. These visits will only be allowed in nursing homes that are not in an outbreak.
RNAO’s Response: Check here and RT
Connection: Updates, voices and opportunities to engage
RNAO launches new social media campaign #Maskathon
RNAO has launched a campaign to promote the use of masks. Here is our July 14 press release:
As we continue to battle COVID-19 in our communities and around the world, we must all play a part in staying safe and healthy. That’s why RNAO has launched .
Tune in this Saturday and Sunday for TD Salsa in Toronto Festival: Keep Dancing
Are you a fan of salsa or Latin culture?
RNAO will be making a special appearance featuring some of us with Latin-American blood running through our veins J including me, Patricia Ruiz Skol -- an active RNAO member and Chief Nursing Executive at Toronto Grace Health Centre -- and neighbours. We will be celebrating our appreciation for Latin culture and diversity as well as our#Cheer4HealthWorkers initiative and #TogetherWeCanDoIt campaign.
The festival will be streamed worldwide at tln.ca and broadcast on the TLN TV channel.
Update on webinars
RNAO has held weekly COVID-19 webinars every Monday evening since March 30. The last one, on July 6, was on family reunification in LTC (see item above). Attendance is always anywhere between 200 and 350! The COVID-19 Webinars: Together We Can Do It! are free and open to all.
We are now decreasing the frequency of webinars. There was no webinar on Monday, July 13. For the remaining of July and August, there will be three webinars a month. The information for the upcoming webinar, as well as the archive for earlier ones, can be found here.
The next webinar will be on Monday, July 20, 6:45-8:00 pm. As updated earlier, RNAO has launched a task force to tackle anti-Black racism within the nursing profession. The task force is co-chaired by RNAO immediate past-president Angela Cooper Brathwaite and Chantal Sorhaindo, RNAO member and NP at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital. The webinar will offer an update on the work of the task force and an open consultation with participants. Details will be posted here.
On Monday, August 10 the webinar will provide a brief update on health system transformation and focus on nurses’ mental health and wellbeing (see item above). Please register here.
If you have not had a chance to watch previous webinars, here are a couple of them:
MOH EOC Situational Report
As announced above, we will be posting each day the Daily Situational Reports from Ontario's MOH EOC at RNAO’s website. That way, you will be able to access the Ministry’s guidance without having to wait for my COVID-19 report. Again, the link is here and you can check it every day.
Since this report will come out once weekly, that will provide a more timely access to Ministry guidance.
For a more detailed Ontario epidemiological summary from Public Health Ontario, you can always go here.
Here is a segment from the latest Situation Report #174 for 17 July:
The Ontario government announced a made-in-Ontario Intellectual Property Action Plan to help ensure the tremendous social and economic benefits of taxpayer-funded research and innovation stays right here in the province. In addition, the government unveiled the second round of research projects approved and supported through the $20 million Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. Through these efforts, researchers will be working to find ways to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19.
Staying in touch
Please continue to keep in touch and share questions, comments and challenges. Send these to me at email@example.com and copy my executive assistant, Peta-Gay (PG) Batten <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Due to the volume of comments and questions, we are responding as fast as we can. RNAO’s Board of Directors and our entire staff want you to know: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!
Thank you deeply colleagues in the front lines, in administrative roles, in all labour, professionals and sector associations, and in governments in Ontario, in Canada and around the world. We are here with you in solidarity. We want to send huge love and support to our colleagues and BPSOs in Latin America – they are still hit hard – especially in Peru, which is the country with the highest per-capita COVID-19 related deaths – striking the poorest communities. These are stressful and exhausting times; the only silver lining is coming together and working as one people – for the good of all!
Together, we must redouble our efforts to tackle COVID-19 with the best tools at hand: full, accurate and transparent information, calmness, determination and swift actions.
Doris Grinspun, RN,MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, O.ONT
RECENT BLOG ITEMS:
10 July - Nurses’ mental health, leave of absence and return to work experiences – go here
10 July - RNAO continues to pursue family reunification in LTC – go here
10 July - Support Zimbabwean nurses arrested and fired for protesting deteriorating pay and working conditions during pandemic – go here
3 July - RNAO launches task force to tackle anti-Black racism within the nursing profession – go here
3 July - Rather than praise, let’s protect our nurses – go here
3 July - Nurses celebrated diversity during Pride month – go here
26 June - Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee – go here
26 June - Masks for all – the policy imperative in Canada – go here
18 June - Annual General Meeting – an exhilarating week! – go here
12 June - Petition on masks for Canada – go here
12 June - LTC: RNAO releases list of 35 reports and recommendations dating back 20 years – go here
6 June - Statement – RNAO stands together with our Black sisters and brothers – go here
3 June - Adapting harm reduction during a pandemic – go here
29 May - Foot care nurses – go here
29 May - Update on pandemic pay; pandemic pay in consumption and treatment sites – go here
28 May - RNAO Calls for Immediate Action in Response to the Canadian Armed Forces’ LTC report – go here
26 May - Update on VIANurse – go here
26 May - Ending homelessness: Will you join us to build a COVID-19 recovery for all? – go here
24 May - Technology as a solution: Opportunities and pitfalls of COVID contact-tracing apps – go here
21 May - Debunking PPE myths with Dr. Jeff Powis: Which masks should health care workers wear during COVID-19? – go here
20 May - RNAO response to announcement of an independent commission into Ontario's long-term care system – go here
19 May - With the pandemic curve flattening, VIANurse program will focus its effort on outbreaks – go here
14 May - Nursing Week update – go here
14 May - Pandemic puts health system to the test: Nurses have answers for shortfalls – go here
14 May - Disappointment for not being included in pandemic pay – go here
13 May - RNAO saddened by the loss RN Brian Beattie to COVID-19 – go here
13 May - End racism and prejudice – go here
11 May - Nurses share their successes and challenges during National Nursing Week – go here
10 May - A story of hope, ingenuity, support and genuine care for an LTC resident – go here
7 May - Counting the missing deaths: Tracking the toll of the coronavirus outbreak – go here
5 May - Life on the front lines of the pandemic: Profile of RNAO member NP Daria Gefrerer – go here
5 May - Addressing differential access to virtual care due to technology inequities – go here
3 May - Being person-and-family-centred during COVID-19 – go here
1 May - Migrant agricultural workers and the COVID-19 crisis – go here
30 April - COVID-19 pandemic in provincial institutions and correctional centres – go here
28 April - Supporting First Nation Communities during COVID-19 – go here
27 April - Responses to COVID-19 for persons experiencing homelessness in Toronto: An update – go here
25 April - Lessons learned through a COVID-19 nursing home outbreak – go here
25 April - Letter from a retired RN to Premier Ford: The problems with LTC were evident long before COVID – go here
23 April - Working with seniors in long-term care requires specialized knowledge – go here
22 April - Shaking the stigma: We need a proactive COVID-19 response for mental health and addiction – go here
21 April - We Require Expanded and Accessible COVID-19 Data in Ontario – go here
20 April - Can Loss of Smell and Taste Help Screen for COVID-19? – go here
18 April - COVID, Trump and the World Health Organization – go here
16 April - A Home Based Model To Confront COVID-19 – The Case Of The Balearic Islands – go here
15 April - COVID-19 and the Challenges in Homecare – go here.
14 April - Reprocessing Of N95 – An Update – go here.
14 April - A New COVID-19 Facility For Persons Experiencing Homelessness In Toronto – go here.
13 April - Practical Tips for Safe Use of Masks – go here.
10 April - Ontario’s Tragedy in Long Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes – go here.
10 April - RNAO Action – Supporting Long-Term Care – go here.
10 April - Update For Nursing Students – NCLEX Exam – go here.
9 April - Celebrating Passover, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and the start of Ramadan during a pandemic – go here.
9 April - Guidance on use of N95 mask – go here.
7 April - Sentinel surveillance and on-site testing in the homeless service sector – go here.
7 April - Reprocessing of n95 – safe? – go here.
5 April - We must change the way we do testing and case definition – go here.
5 April - Ringing the alarm bells on critical care beds – go here.
4 April - COVID-19, stay at home and domestic violence – go here.
We have posted earlier ones in my blog here. Please go and take a look.
Ontario’s public website on the COVID-19 is there to inform the general public – encourage your family and friends to access this public website. The WHO has provided an excellent link for you to share with members of the public here.
Please promote the use of Ontario’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool: It also has a guide where to seek care, if necessary. Its use will provide the province with real-time data on the number and geography of users who are told to seek care, self-isolate or to monitor for symptoms. Data will inform Ontario's ongoing response to keep individuals and families safe.
Health Canada's website 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.
You can find up-to-date global numbers in Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE.
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