December 11 2020 COVID-19 report

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RNAO and others remains gravely concerned by the late and insufficient efforts to control the second pandemic wave,which is once again overwhelming long term care (LTC) institutions, in particular nursing homes across the province, adding anguish to residents, staff and the families of both. This “too little, too late approach”continues to disadvantage populations compromised by their social conditions. These are the communities at risk due to precarious employment or unemployment and low income that often also live in tougher housing conditions. These are the same communities that suffered the burden of illness during the first wave of this pandemic. In this second wave the lateness in acting is overwhelming also Ontario hospitals, and this will have renewed repercussions on thousands of Ontarians needing diagnostics and procedures for non-COVID illnesses, who will see delays in access to health-care services.

December 4 2020 COVID-19 report

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In the midst of an aggressive resurgence of the virus with outbreaks in more than 115 homes (as of Dec. 3, 2020) and more than 2,300 residents losing their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, RNAO is once again urging the government to make staffing, clinical supports and best practices in infection prevention and control measures top priorities.

November 27 2020 COVID-19 report

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Nurses and other healthcare workers in the frontlines of Ontario’s COVID-19 pandemic – especially in long term care, but increasingly in other sectors – are experiencing trauma. This is the result of sheer exhaustion, insufficient and late government action leading to escalating spread of COVID-19, episodes of public disregard for the necessary rules to contain the virus, and the excruciating loss of lives. And there is more – the muzzling of healthcare workers’ voices. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of untold stories of devastation, which workers keep for themselves for fear of repercussions.

November 20 2020 COVID-19 report

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COVID-19 is running rampant in several communities and decisive government action was essential as the virus continues to spread unabated in the community and the effectiveness of more targeted measures has fizzled. It is unfortunate that the measures announced today are once again incomplete. RNAO continues to call for an aggressive and all-encompassing lockdown, followed by an effective and concerted strategy to snuff out the virus – a “COVID-Zero” strategy. The longer we wait, the more painful these cycles will be.

November 13 2020 COVID-19 report

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As we come to an end of Nurse Practitioner Week we salute our NP colleagues! With over 1,700 NP members of RNAO, and the incredible progress we have achieved together, the time to celebrate is this week – and everyday! A big THANK you from Minister Elliott! We at RNAO THANK YOU DEEPLY for your incredible contributions to Ontario’s health system and we look forward to seeing many of you at the NP Knowledge Exchange

November 6 2020 COVID-19 report

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RNAO is shocked by the lack of urgency in Monday’s announcement from the provincial government that they intend to meet minimum quality care standards in Ontario’s nursing homes by 2025. Urgent action and not an election promise is needed to protect the lives of nursing home residents as the province is now in the grips of a ferocious resurgence of COVID-19. As of Nov. 1, nearly 10 months into the pandemic, 74 nursing homes across the province are again battling COVID-19 outbreaks with insufficient staffing and resources.

October 30 2020 COVID-19 report

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RNAO statement in support of Bill 13: Time to Care Act RNAO applauds members of the Ontario legislature for acting unanimously and in the best interests of residents in long-term care (LTC) homes by voting in favour of Bill 13 on Oct. 29, 2020. RNAO fully supports Bill 13 and urges the government to move this bill quickly through the legislative process so it becomes law. The private member’s bill, introduced by London-Fanshawe NDP MPP Teresa Armstrong in 2018, passed second reading and now goes to committee. It calls for amendments to the Long-Term Care Homes Act to establish a minimum of four worked hours of nursing and personal support services per resident, per day – in all Ontario nursing homes. Bill 13 takes us one step closer to RNAO’s vision of safer, higher quality and evidence-based care as laid out in its Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee. If passed, this bill will help improve the safety and quality of care for residents and will address long-standing, severe staffing shortfalls resulting from decades of policy and funding inaction.

October 23 2020 COVID-19 report

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RNAO continues to speak out in the media about issues related to COVID-19 and our calls to the Ontario and federal governments for action regarding the alarming rise in the pandemic wave. This month, we focused primarily on two key issues: tightening restrictions in regional hotspots to slow the spread of the virus, and addressing the renewed and predictable crisis in long-term care (an issue we’ve been pushing for months – and years!).

October 16 2020 COVID-19 report

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Our experience over the last seven months has demonstrated that this is not only a problem in Ontario. COVID-19 swept through LTC homes across the country early, taking the lives of more than 5,000 residents. That number represents more than 80 per cent of all COVID-19-related deaths in Canada. To our shame, the average percentage of COVID-19-related deaths among nursing home residents across other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries was less than half of Canada’s. This is a national failing that cries out for a national response.

October 9 2020 COVID-19 report

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Nurses are relieved to hear Premier Ford is taking important steps to lessen the spread of COVID-19, especially in areas where cases counts are especially high, including Toronto, Peel and Ottawa. The government should act fast to add additional regions to these measures, based on the relevant indicators.