RNAO continues to express grave concern regarding the worsening situation with the second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario

As discussed last week, RNAO continues to urge faster and stronger action than reflected in the current colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework. RNAO is calling for a province-wide lockdown, or, at a minimum, following the Ontario Hospital Association recommendation to robustly enforce a four-week lockdown (grey zone) in every public health unit with an infection rate of 40/100,000 population or higher.

RNAO says government’s measures too late and insufficient to break the transmission – but we must enact them fully within a COVID-Zero strategy

RNAO issued today a press release in response to the lockdown measures in Toronto and Peel regions announced by the government. 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 pandemic cycles will be.

Responding to the second wave of COVID-19: RNAO continues to speak out in the media

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!). The RNAO COVID-19 press room has links to 42 media hits so far in the month of October.

RNAO relieved that Premier Ford engages late, but essential, action to lessen spread of COVID-19

RNAO has been a central voice in Ontario alerting for the need to engage action against a galloping second wave of COVID-19. You can see some of our multiple interventions in social and mainstream media -- asking for government intervention from early September -- when we warned that, baring closures of inside non-essential places, we would see disastrous results. Today, the Ontario government took action. Here is RNAO’s press release today.

Technology as a solution: Opportunities and pitfalls of COVID contact-tracing apps

One of the most worrisome aspects of the current opening of the economy and increased mobility is that we have not developed sufficiently the infrastructure for surveillance, identification of clusters, containment, testing, case and contact tracing and isolating. Today, I explore one tool being used in many jurisdictions to help with contact tracing -- smartphone apps.

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.

Lessons for a pandemic, from those who’ve experienced one

Nurses and doctors in Médecins Sans Frontières have long experience fighting epidemics around the world. They are now sharing advice for Canadians preparing for one. There is no room for wishful thinking, they say. One must prepare for the worst-case scenario, while doing everything we can to avoid it. We must be mentally and organizationally prepared to deal with the conditions that are rocking Italy and Spain: