Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Media release and Action Alert to urge the government to maintain masking in high-risk settings

RNAO issued a media release to demand the premier not lift mask mandates in high-risk settings (public transit, long-term care, hospitals and other health settings) due to end April 27. RNAO’s advocacy paid off – the government announced on April 22 that the mask mandate has been extended until June 11, 2022. However, it is too soon to set an end date – the mandate should remain indefinitely. 

In the media release, RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun said, “Quebec and PEI demonstrated the leadership that is necessary by delaying the lifting of their mandates for most indoor settings; Ontario instead lifted our requirement three weeks ago. The result is a massive wave of COVID-19 infections and an increase in hospitalizations across Ontario. Nurses warn against dropping the last essential public health measure in the very places where they are needed most. Doing so will place Ontarians and the province’s health-care workforce further at risk.”

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health admitted the province was well into a sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet ignored calls to reinstate mask mandates. Instead, Dr. Kieran Moore issued a “strong recommendation” that people protect themselves with a three-layer or medical mask. 

To add to Grinspun’s remarks, RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth said, "Dr. Moore is also forgetting that nurses and other health providers have been fighting this virus for more than two years. They are spent and exhausted. And yet, the work of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and other health providers continues.

For more information, read the official media release.

RNAO also issued an Action Alert to demand the premier keep mandatory masking in high-risk settings.

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