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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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Supporting First Nation Communities during COVID-19

Today we spotlight the valuable work of the Chiefs of Ontario in supporting the needs of First Nations persons and communities during this pandemic to prevent and/or delay the spread of COVID-19. On behalf of RNAO, we tremendously appreciate the work of Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Carmen Jones (Director of Health) and their teams for contributing to the article that follows. RNAO joins in partnership with Ontario Chiefs in urging governments and others to immediately heed their call!

Responses to COVID-19 for persons experiencing homelessness in Toronto: An update

Public health officials – both provincial and City of Toronto – distinguished between two different COVID-19 disease processes, during their second modeling press conference on April 20th – the spread through community and the spread of the virus through congregate settings. They claimed, cautiously, that COVID-19 spread in the community has peaked but that spread is growing in congregate settings. The evidence of the virus’ devastating effect on long-term care and retirement homes has been laid out in these reports.

Letter: We need an overhaul of long-term care so we value our elderly and other vulnerable residents

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RN Timea Andersen responds to a letter from retired RN Diana Sebera. She says: "I have always had great appreciation for the calling of nurses working in both palliative and geriatric settings. Clearly, a tremendous amount of education of both other nurses and medical personnel as well as the general public is required about the stigmas and the value our elderly and vulnerable people have to our society as well our obligations to them, whether we know them or not."

Letter from a retired RN to Premier Ford: The problems with LTC were evident long before COVID

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A letter from Diana Sebera to Premier Doug Ford: As a retired RN of 28 years, I’d like to provide some perspective on the Long-Term Care crisis. Although I speak of nurses and nursing, my comments also apply to personal support workers, who provide most of the daily care. Ontario has a big task ahead of itself.  A drastic change is required - one that will make nurses stay in their jobs. It starts with a good work environment.

Lessons learned through a COVID-19 nursing home outbreak

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Wendy Dunn is one of the 60 nurse practitioners (NP) working in Ontario’s nursing homes as an Attending NP. Wendy shared with us her experiences at RNAO’s weekly webinar with NPs on the management of an outbreak at Greenwood Court. She has kindly put together some of the lessons learned through this challenging experience.

Working with seniors in long-term care requires specialized knowledge

The references in the media to efforts to bring medical specialists prompted a RN who works with seniors to write, brilliantly detailing the specialized knowledge required to work in long-term care. She prefers to remain anonymous. Please know that I am deeply appreciative for your willingness to share your exquisite knowledge and commitment.

Shaking the stigma: We need a proactive COVID-19 response for mental health and addiction

Today, we spotlight the needs of persons requiring mental health and addiction services, one of the most neglected sectors in healthcare. On behalf of RNAO, our tremendous appreciation to Kim Moran (CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario), Adrienne Spafford (CEO, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario) and Camille Quenneville (CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario) for contributing the article that follows. RNAO calls on government to immediately heed their call!

RNAO’s VIANurse Program

RNAO continues its strong advocacy on the need to expand the capacity of Ontario’s health system to meet emerging health needs in tackling COVID-19. RNAO was the first out the door addressing growing nursing human resource shortages, as many RNs, NPs and PSWs are being quarantined and/or falling sick, and staffing needs escalate together with the acuity of the pandemic.

We require expanded and accessible COVID-19 data in Ontario

Issues of fullness and accessibility of data are central to the understanding of any pandemic and the design of effective policy responses. We have asked Dr. Jennifer Kwan, a family physician in Burlington, Ontario, to expand on this key topic. What follows is her article. I encourage you to follow her on Twitter – @jkwan_md – her feed is an excellent source of useful data on COVID-19.

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.