Letter to the Premier from Community Health Ontario
September 28, 2020
The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
As new COVID-19 cases have reached 700 today in Ontario, we’re writing you on behalf of the province’s leading community health care organizations to express our full support of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA)’s latest statement calling on government to immediately intensify public health measures in certain areas of the province. These include the City of Toronto, all regions of the Greater Toronto Area, and Ottawa.
A return to Stage 2, with restrictions on indoor dining and bars, places of worship, weddings, gyms, movie theatres, and other non-essential businesses, is needed now to continue to keep schools open and prevent a further acceleration of infections. Without public health measures in place to limit opportunities for disease transmission, Ontario will soon see higher numbers of hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care units, significant strain on long-term care homes, community health care agencies, and more deaths.
The members of Community Health Ontario (CHO) agree with the OHA that stronger restrictions are needed now in order to protect our province’s most vulnerable, and conserve our health system’s limited resources. We also appreciate and understand that a return to Stage 2 comes at a serious cost to thousands of businesses and their employees.
Further, Ontario’s community health care organizations are critically concerned about the impact that COVID-19 has already had on Ontarians, in particular the trauma endured by those on the front line of care and who have lost love ones. We also know from the first wave of COVID that the virus disproportionately impacts racialized and lower-income people. We must stress that unless action is taken now to slow the second wave, we risk not having the capacity to provide the care that those impacted need.
These are specific and actionable measures that we believe are the best immediate actions to reduce the devastating impact of a second wave. These measures are the best chance we have to protect the continued availability of our health care services and public education system. We need the government to take decisive action to slow the spread immediately.
For the benefit of all Ontarians, we respectfully request that, based on the advice of Ontario’s best health care professionals, quick action is taken to return to Stage 2 so we can limit the impact of the second wave.
CEO, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario
CEO, Ontario Community Support Association
CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
CEO, Alliance for Healthier Communities
CEO, AdvantAge Ontario
Hon. Christine Elliott, Minister of Health
Hon. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care
Anthony Dale, President & CEO, Ontario Hospital Association
Mark Lawson, Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy, Office of the Premier
Heather Watt, Chief of Staff, Minister of Health
Laurel Brazill, Director, Stakeholder Relations, Minister of Health