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    COVID-19

    RNAO is vigorously engaged in COVID-19 action, serving nurses and other health professionals so that they can serve the public.

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Can loss of smell and taste help screen for COVID-19?

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COVID-19 is a mysterious disease with high rate of transmission even among individuals with virtually no symptoms. Recent news articles and studies from around the world have suggested that loss of smell and taste may be specific and early symptoms for COVID-19. In Ontario, a research group led by Dr. John Lee from the University of Toronto based out of St. Michael’s Hospital is working on this project.

Letter from Ottawa Public Health

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Ottawa Public Health thanks RNAO for recruiting nurses through the VIANurse program. OPH was able to quickly enhance its capacity for triaging, test results, case management and contact tracing by an additional 100 nurses, so that service could be provided 7 days a week, without delay.

Plans for gradual re-opening of the economy

RNAO wants to stress the critical importance of engaging those plans in a responsible and cautious way. If we move to open the economy too fast we risk a second surge that would overwhelm the health care system. In such a case, not only we would lose many lives that can be saved, but also the economy would get a double hit by having to go back to a full lockdown.

A home based model to confront COVID-19 – the case of the Balearic Islands

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A crucial question we face as we start thinking beyond the pandemic is what systemic factors have contributed to worsening its impacts, and which ones have mitigated them. I have expressed earlier RNAO’s concerns that an excessive hospital orientation within the health system in Ontario, and the neglect of community-based approaches, is most likely a factor that has aggravated the impacts in our province. Today I am profiling the way that the Balearic Islands, a province of Spain, has tackled COVID-19 with an innovative primary care and home-based approach.

Need for accommodation away from home

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Need for accommodation away from home. We have been contacted by a number of health care providers asking about temporary accommodation for those working on the front lines. In our research to enlist hotels that will provide free or discounted accommodation we became aware of a program available to hospital staff that need temporary accommodation.

COVID-19 and the challenges in homecare

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Today I am profiling one of the “forgotten,” but crucially important, health sectors: homecare. With hospitals geared to the pandemic, “decanting” less acute patients to their homes, and less able to attend to non-COVID conditions, homecare plays a central role in keeping persons in their homes and attending to their needs. However, like all community health services in our hospital-oriented health system, homecare is underfunded, neglected, and in pressing need of reform.