September 2021

COVID-19 updates

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so does Ontario’s health care system. While patient needs may change, nurses remain accountable to the practice standards and for supporting public health prevention and protection measures.

While the fourth wave of the pandemic continues, make sure you are aware of the following updates, information and accountabilities.

Workplace immunization policies

As of Sept. 7, 2021, the Ontario government requires that hospitals, ambulance services, and community, home and long-term care settings have COVID-19 immunization policies for employees. If you work in one of these settings, you should refer to your employer’s specific policy.

CNO strongly recommends nurses get vaccinated. Vaccinations are an evidence-based public health intervention that help keep vulnerable patients safe. By receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you are both protecting yourself and those you care for, as well as the health care system’s capacity to deliver needed services during the pandemic.

For more information about the government’s directive about immunization policies, go to our COVID-19: Vaccination information page.

Information for NPs

We have updated our COVID-19 resource page to include specific updates for NPs. Go to our COVID-19: Practice resources page and click "Information for Nurse Practitioners" to read more.

Modelling public health protocol

As nurses, you are leaders in your communities and the public’s trust in you may extend to your views on health matters communicated on social media and other forums. Statements made by nurses in public forums have the potential to impact the health and safety of the public.

When nurses role model and follow public health directives such as vaccinations, masking, handwashing and social distancing, it keeps the public and patients safe by reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.

Read more about your accountabilities to support public health measures here.

The standard of care

CNO appreciates your commitment and dedication as you continue to consider patient needs and public safety under evolving conditions. Working in the health care system during a pandemic requires continual adaptation and adjustment in nursing practice. You can read our statement about the standard of care and working in changing conditions here.

Mental health support is available

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be hard on many of us — in ways both seen and unseen. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone and that help is available. Our COVID-19: Practice resources page lists the supports and resources that are available to nurses.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and so does your expert care for patients and invaluable support to families. You demonstrate your commitment and dedication to public safety and patient needs each and every day. From all of us, thank you for all that you do.

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