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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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Guidance on use of N95 mask

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We continue to receive messages from RNs who, in their judgment, require the use of N95 and are denied their use. The guidance, given the shortage of N95, is that they are specifically allocated for use in ICUs and mainly for aerosolized procedures. However, exceptions to this guidance should be recognized.

Celebrating Passover, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and the start of Ramadan during a pandemic

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This is a special and meaningful time of the year for families; friends and communities who in normal times get together to celebrate. This time it will be different; as in so many other aspects of our life, everything seems to be changed – hopefully for not too long. We urge each of us – everyone -- to stay put in our homes.

Sentinel surveillance and on-site testing in the homeless service sector

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The deepening crisis amongst persons experiencing homelessness is a major concern for RNAO and one we are actively urging all levels of government to immediately address.

We asked Dr. Aaron Orkin, Population Medicine Lead with Inner City Health Associates (ICHA), to share with RNAO his expert advice about sentinel surveillance and on-site testing for persons experiencing homelessness in Toronto, which of course is applicable to any other city and jurisdiction.   

Reprocessing of N95 – safe?

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The shortage of N95 masks is driving the efforts to find ways to reprocess (sometimes referred to as decontaminate, sterilize, sanitize or disinfect) these filtering facepiece respirators (FFR). We continue to receive emails expressing concerns from health providers worried that ineffective reprocessing will leave them exposed to contamination or degraded respirators. This is an issue that is evolving, there is ongoing research, and we provide here an update.

Ringing the alarm bells on critical care beds

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Yesterday, Friday, April 3 -- Ontario public health officials released modeling projections for the remainder of the month of April. The numbers are sobering, as the government is expecting 1,600 deaths by end of April and between 3,000 and 15,000 over the 18 to 24 months course of the pandemic. RNAO’s concern is that this planning still happens under a “best-case scenario"; from the outset, RNAO has been calling not to make that assumption.

PPE and ventilators: Saving lives

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As yesterday and the days before, essential supplies and equipment remain a central concern. Governments have announced purchases. Now, we need breakneck delivery timelines as -- without PPE and ventilators -- Canadians and healthcare workers’ lives are on the line.