TORONTO, June 11, 2020 /CNW/ - As some areas of the province move towards Phase 2 of reopening this Friday, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) urges continued measures to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Reopening the economy is important for Ontarians' financial, social, psychological, and developmental needs. At the same time, a balanced approach is essential to ensure that safety remains a top priority.
There is a significant backlog of medical care from the 3 months of lockdown. Community doctors are still uncertain as to the availability of PPE. Extra care and precautions are needed for vulnerable populations to ensure they remain safe and healthy and have the support needed to continue isolating.
"Ontarians have done a great job staying home and physically distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but a continued state of lockdown for the entire province is neither realistic nor sustainable," said OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill. "We know that we aren't out of the woods yet so as the province reopens it is essential to continue measures like physical distancing, handwashing and wearing face coverings.
The safe reopening of Ontario is contingent upon:
- Continuous and robust case and contact tracing.
- Widespread testing.
- Good hygiene practices such as handwashing.
- Physical distancing where possible.
- Wearing face coverings indoors in public places and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
- Public trust in and compliance with what will certainly be evolving messages, with local differences
The government should ensure there is clear and consistent information available on the safe use of face coverings, recommendations on physical distancing, contract tracing technologies and testing criteria. This information should be accessible, easy to understand, readily available and regionally based.
Doctors have and will continue to provide this information through the OMA communications channels and through daily interactions with hundreds of thousands of patients.
"The OMA will continue to work closely with the government to provide our expertise and ensure that public health remains top of mind," said OMA CEO Allan O'Dette. "As we begin to resume more activities, we must be vigilant in protecting ourselves and others."
In May the OMA released a white paper – Reopening Ontario to a 'New Normal': Five Public Health Pillars for a Safe Return – that set out a series of increased public health measures it recommended be put in place for the province to reopen safely.
About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario's 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario's health-care system.
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
For further information: Anne-Marie Flanagan, OMA Media Relations at [email protected] or 416-735-3690