COVID-19 information

As Ontario is moving into Phase III of the COVID 19 pandemic, CNO expired all Emergency Assignment Class registrations on August 4, 2020.

The Emergency Assignment Class was authorized solely to allow people to assist in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any Emergency Assignment Class member who wants to continue practicing as a nurse in Ontario may do so by registering in another practicing class. To learn more about your registration choices, read COVID-19: Registration options when Emergency Assignment Class ends.

We continue to support Ontario's health care system during the pandemic.

COVID-19 update: Standard of care and nurses’ accountabilities 

CNO acknowledges that it is an unprecedented time in health care. We understand that you are stressed and may be concerned about being able to maintain standards of nursing practice. We want to assure you that the standard of care is always considered in context. The standard of care can evolve with the dynamic nature of the pandemic, including that resources may become scarce or absent.

Working within a quickly evolving environment can be challenging and distressing. In this situation, it will be important to make reasonable efforts to comply with any direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and your workplace policies and procedures pertaining to COVID-19 management. While CNO will continue to receive complaints and reports during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will assess all information with consideration to the circumstances in which nurses are working.

During these difficult and challenging times all nurses are being asked to do more than ever before. We know and are grateful for the important role nurses are playing on the frontlines of this unprecedented event. You are the heart of our health care system, and you continue to demonstrate your dedication to your patients and their families every day.

 

COVID-19: Practice Resources

This page contains a variety of COVID-19-related information for nurses, including information about:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Accountabilities of nurses during a pandemic
  • Information for Nurse Practitioners 

As Ontario enters the recovery phase with the new Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, some orders that were in place under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act will continue under the new act. For a list of orders still in effect, see the provincial status on COVID-19.

Physical (social) distancing 

  • It is part of a nurse’s professional accountability to role model and follow public health directives that keep their patients safe. We expect nurses to uphold public health guidelines on physical distancing.

Important resources

  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: dedicated COVID-19 website for health care professionals that includes directives, memorandums and other resources
  • In addition, the Ministry of Health is looking for experienced health care providers who can help prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Visit their recruitment page for more information.
  • Public Health Ontario has also curated a resource page for health care providers. 

 

Mental health support for nurses

During these challenging times, when nurses are being asked to do more than ever before, remember to keep your own health and well-being a priority. The following resources offer mental health support:

 

Report individuals being tested 

  • Health care providers  must contact  their local public health unit about all individuals being tested for COVID-19.
  • To find your local health unit, see the Ministry of Health PHU Locator. If you are considering testing a patient for COVID-19, you can contact Public Health Ontario’s Customer Service Centre for advice and support. 
  • Health care workers and health sector employees can call the Ministry of Health’s Healthcare Provider Hotline for more information: 1 866 212 2272.

 

Guidance  

Your accountabilities

Nurses are accountable to all standards of practice. While the provincial declaration of emergency has ended, some emergency orders will continue under the new act,  Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. If you have questions about your accountabilities when caring for patients affected with the new coronavirus, email us: practicesupport@cnomail.org

If you have questions about your accountabilities when caring for patients affected with the new coronavirus, email us: practicesupport@cnomail.org

Emergency Assignment Class

As Ontario moves into Phase III of the pandemic, CNO expired all Emergency Assignment Class registrations on August 4, 2020.

For more information, read COVID-19: Registration options when Emergency Assignment Class ends.

EMERGENCY ORDERS UNDER THE REOPENING ONTARIO ACT

While the provincial declaration of emergency has ended, some emergency orders will continue under the new act, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020For a list of orders still in effect, review the provincial status on COVID-19

Important resources 

Guidance and best practices 

How New Grads can help during COVID-19

As Ontario moves into Phase III of the pandemic, CNO expired all Emergency Assignment Class registrations on August 4, 2020.

If you haven't already done so, apply to the General Class.

If you have not written your registration exam, you may consider applying to the Temporary Class. You will need an offer of employment in order to apply for this class.

After you have written and passed your registration exam, you may then complete your registration in the General Class.

If you are still in a nursing program and want to help ...

  • contact a nursing association or a local health facility (long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals) to offer support.
  • In addition, the Ministry of Health is looking for experienced health care providers — including learners who have begun, but not yet completed professional training, who can help prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Visit the Ministry of Health's Health Workforce Matching Portal for more information.

Guidance information

 

For answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19, such as what the risks and symptoms are, how it spreads, and how you can protect yourself, read the Government of Canada’s FAQ page.

You can also find information about how to protect yourself from the virus, what to do if you’re sick and how to recognize possible symptoms on the Ministry of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 web page

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

IMPORTANT RESOURCES 

Status Reports 

To learn more about the virus, visit the World Health Organization’s info page and the government of Canada's FAQ page

Page last reviewed August 11, 2020