RNAO is urging all nurses, other health professionals and the public to join their fellow ICU physician colleagues in calling for more urgent action to control the pandemic.
Last week, 153 ICU doctors signed a letter addressed to Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, imploring them to enact stronger public health measures.
RNAO is fully supportive of the letter and is asking nurses, other health professionals and the public to add their voices by signing and sharing RNAO’s Action Alert. It calls on the province to urgently:
- lockdown all non-essential services
- vaccinate all essential service workers
- provide 10 paid sick days for all workers
- re-institute a moratorium on all residential and encampment evictions
- restrict travel within Ontario and between Ontario and other provinces and countries to only essential travel
“We are in the midst of a brutal third wave and inaction is risking lives and opening the door to a fourth wave,” says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun. “Registered nurses and nurse practitioners in intensive care units are desperate to see change and action and what is needed now is public health measures that will curb the growth of dangerous COVID variants and stop COVID in its tracks.”
Variants of COVID-19 have spread at an alarming rate and have resulted in an exponential rise in the number of cases. As of today, there were 2,938 new cases. Over the long weekend, case counts were more than 3,000 each day.
Among those who are sick with the virus are increasing numbers of people being admitted to ICU in need of critical care. Equally concerning is that the variants are attacking people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s and who need life-saving measures.
Many of those who are becoming ill are essential workers who work and live in areas where the virus is spreading like wildfire. They also come from vulnerable communities that have been largely forgotten during the pandemic, including lacking essential access to paid sick days.
RNAO says the fight against the variants is at a new tipping point and it is clear measures currently in place are not enough to stem the rising tide of daily and deadly infections.
RNAO calls on everyone to sign its Action Alert to Premier Ford.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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