COVID-19 Timeline

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COVID-19 Timeline

COVID-19

2019
Dec 31

First cases

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Wuhan, China reports a number of cases of pneumonia, which turn out to be identified as a novel coronavirus.

2020
Jan 10

WHO issues technical guidance

The World Health Organization issues technical guidance on how to detect, test and manage potential cases.

Jan 12

China publicly shares the genetic sequence of COVID-19.

Jan 13

First recorded case outside of China

Thailand officials confirm a case of COVID-19, the first recorded case outside of China.

Jan 25

First COVID-positive patient in Ontario

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ONA participates in a call with Minister of Health Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams to advise key stakeholders that the first COVID-positive patient was in hospital at Sunnybrook.

Jan 25

First presumptive case of the novel coronavirus in Canada

A Toronto man who returned from Wuhan becomes the first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus in Canada. He is placed in isolation in Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.

Jan 26

ONA creates a COVID-19 website page

ONA creates a COVID-19 website page that includes government updates, and health and safety precautions.

Jan 28

ONA holds a Telephone Town Hall

ONA holds a Telephone Town Hall to answer members’ questions regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Feb 16

ONA and CUPE meet with Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer of Health

ONA and CUPE meet with the Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer of Health about COVID-19 transmission and protecting health-care workers.

Mar 05

Canada’s first community contracted case

In British Columbia, Canada’s first-ever case is contracted within the community rather than through travel or contact with other cases.

Mar 08

Canada’s first COVID-19 death

Canada records its first death from COVID-19, a man in his 80s died at a North Vancouver nursing home.

Mar 10

ONA learns that the government is taking the position that the virus is spread via droplets and not airborne

Ontario government Labour Table meets with ONA President Vicki McKenna. ONA learns that the government is taking the position that the virus is spread via droplets and is not airborne. Airborne precautions (including N95s) are only required during aerosol generating medical procedures (AGMPs).

 

This change in direction deeply concerns ONA as it is not consistent with the precautionary principle as described by Justice Campbell in the SARS Commission report.

Mar 11

WHO declares COVID-19 to be a pandemic

WHO declares COVID-19 to be a pandemic. Canada has more than 100 recorded cases.
Mar 11

Call for honest collaboration with the government

ONA, OCHU, CUPE, OPSEU and SEIU call for honest collaboration with the government regarding guidelines for COVID-19 protection for health-care workers and their patients.

Mar 12

CMOH releases Directive #1

The Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) releases Directive #1. If the CMOH thinks that there exists or there may exist an immediate risk to the health of persons anywhere in Ontario, he or she may issue a directive to respecting precautions to be followed to protect the health of persons in Ontario.

Mar 17

Ontario declares a state of emergency

Mar 19

Directive #2 issued

Directive #2 is issued, cancelling all non-essential and elective surgeries.

Mar 21

Government order on work redeployment

Government order on work redeployment. This order applies only to hospitals and not to long-term care. ONA was notified by the Ministry of Health that the order was coming but there was no further consultation.

Mar 22

CMOH issues Directive #3 applicable to long-term care

The Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) issues Directive #3 applicable to long-term care. Residents were not permitted to leave the home for short-stay absences.

Mar 25

N95s negotiation

The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour contact ONA to negotiate an agreement regarding the usage of N95s and other appropriate PPE.

Mar 28

ONA negotiates with government regarding principles for PPE and protecting health-care workers

ONA negotiates with government regarding principles for PPE and protecting health-care workers. At the end of negotiations, ONA learns it is for hospitals and RNs only.

Mar 30

The Ministry of Health issues “COVID-19 Outbreak Guidance for Long-Term Care Homes”

The Ministry of Health issues “COVID-19 Outbreak Guidance for Long-Term Care Homes.”

Apr 01

Death toll reaches 100 in Canada

Apr 08

ONA issues a media release about Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit offering early retirement packages in the middle of a pandemic

Apr 08

The CMOH revises Directive #3

The Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) revises Directive #3 noting that all staff and visitors are to wear surgical masks, whether the home is in outbreak or not.

Apr 10

The CMOH revises Directive #5

The Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) revises Directive #5 to include all health-care workers and covers long-term care homes and retirement homes. N95s were mandated where an aerosol generating medical procedure was anticipated or required.

Apr 15

Canada surpasses 1,000 deaths

Apr 15

Emergency Order “Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home” is issued

Emergency order Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home is issued. ONA was advised that the Ministry of Long-Term Care could not bar agency staff from working in multiple homes because the homes were too reliant on agencies for their staffing needs.

Apr 16

ONA sought an order requiring the homes to comply with Directives 3 and 5

ONA files an application in the courts seeking an injunction and a court order on behalf of ONA members in four homes. ONA sought an order requiring the homes to comply with Directives 3 and 5.

Apr 22

Ontario and Quebec, the hardest-hit provinces, call on the military to help in their LTC homes

Apr 28

Canada hits 50,000 cases

May 01

ONA and the Participating Nursing Homes proceed to arbitration before Arbitrator John Stout

ONA and the Participating Nursing Homes proceed to arbitration before Arbitrator John Stout. He issues an award that addresses PPE, infection control measures and resident and staff cohorting among other issues.

May 07

Canada completes its millionth COVID-19 test

May 12

The death toll in Canada passes 5,000

May 12

ONA learns of the death of an ONA member due to COVID-19. Brian Beattie, RN, worked at Kensington Village in London

May 21

The Chief Medical Officer of Health revises Directive #3 to allow limited admissions to restart

May 22

ONA writes to Minister Fullerton

ONA writes to Minister Fullerton requesting an independent public inquiry into long-term care.

May 26

A new report from the military helping in five LTC facilities reveals extreme neglect and exposes the horrific conditions residents were facing

Jun 18

Canada officially records more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19

Jul 20

ONA President Vicki McKenna releases a video on ONA’s website talking about the impact the government’s Bills will have on members, and ONA’s actions to advocate against these bills.

 
Jul 22

ONA calls this day a dark day for the province’s registered nurses and health-care professionals as the Ford government passes Bills 195 and 197

Jul 29

Update on Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission

The government announces the terms of reference and the commissioners for Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.

Aug 14

Final report from the military released

Aug 21

Canada takes a major step toward producing PPE, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford announce an agreement with 3M

Sep 11

Lakeridge Health informs ONA that it is cutting 14 RNs from several of its units as it seeks to balance its budget

Sep 18

MOH informs ONA that it will not exclude social workers from working as care coordinators

After months of meetings and lobbying on behalf of social workers, the Ministry of Health (MOH) informs ONA that it will not exclude social workers from working as care coordinators under the new home care regulation.

Sep 24

Canada enters the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Oct 09

ONA launches a province-wide advertising campaign on Thanksgiving Monday

Oct 19

Canada’s COVID-19 case count hits the 200,000 mark

Nov 02

ONA is pleased to learn of the government’s proposal to increase direct hours of care for residents in long-term care to four hours per day

Nov 16

Canada’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 300,000

Nov 26

Federal health officials announce Canada has purchase agreements with seven COVID-19 vaccine producers

Nov 27

Trudeau says most Canadians should receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 2021

Dec 04

Canada records more than 400,000 cases of COVID-19, just 18 days after it hits the 300,000 mark

Dec 14

The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are administered to people in Quebec and Ontario

Dec 26

Ontario confirms Canada’s first known cases of the U.K. coronavirus variant involve a couple from the Durham Region

Dec 29

The Ontario government says it expects to vaccinate approximately 8.5 million people by the end of June 2021 against COVID-19

2021
Jan 04

A health-care worker in Toronto becomes the first person in Ontario to receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Jan 06

ONA is deeply disappointed in the news that several people in positions of authority in the province have left the country to vacation during the pandemic

Jan 11

The COVID-19-related death toll in Ontario surpasses 5,000

Jan 15

ONA is outraged at the provincial government’s denial to exempt the front-line RNs, NPs and health-care professionals from its wage-suppression legislation, Bill 124

Jan 25

The one-year anniversary of the first case in Ontario – provincial case count sits at 256,960

Jan 25

ONA writes an open letter to Premier Doug Ford requesting that Ontario’s directives be revised to recognize precautions for airborne transmission

Jan 28

The COVID-19-related death toll across the province surpasses the 6,000 mark

Feb 07

Brazilian COVID-19 variant found in Toronto

Feb 11

The first round of COVID-19 vaccinations is completed in all Ontario long-term care homes

Feb 15

Ford government announces the province’s first known case of the South African coronavirus variant in Mississauga

Feb 25

ONA files an urgent judicial review application to seek changes to directives to recognize and protect against the grave risks to health-care workers from COVID-19 – including aerosol and asymptomatic transmission.

Feb 26

Canada approves the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine, making it the third shot officially authorized in the country

Mar 01

ONA launches a province-wide advertising campaign featuring its own members – urging Ontarians to take comfort in knowing that registered nurses and health-care professionals continue to be there, holding the line as the COVID-19 pandemic continues

Mar 03

The COVID-19-related death toll across the province surpasses the 7,000 mark

Mar 05

The Ontario government says it is aiming to have all eligible residents who wish to get a COVID-19 vaccine to have their first dose completed by June 20

Mar 10

Ontario announces that 325 pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor-Essex, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington will begin providing COVID-19 vaccinations using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Mar 11

More than a million COVID-19 vaccines administered

Health Minister Christine Elliot announces that more than a million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the province.

Apr 01

The Ontario government activates an “emergency brake” for four weeks across the entire province

Apr 07

The Ford government declares the province’s third state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is issuing a provincewide stay-at-home order that will last for a minimum of four weeks

Apr 09

The Ontario government advises ONA that it is enacting a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA)

The Ontario government advises ONA that it is enacting a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to permit Ontario Health and the Home & Care Community Support Services (HCCSS), to redeploy staff to hospitals to address capacity and staffing pressures during the third wave of COVID-19.

Apr 11

Ontario reports 4,456 coronavirus cases, setting the record for a number of new cases in a 24-hour period

Apr 11

The province announces that another 700 pharmacies are joining the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Apr 15

ONA holds a telephone town hall meeting

ONA holds a telephone town hall meeting and Facebook live event to cover the latest developments on redeployment, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, vaccine rollouts, implications of the third wave, changes to Directives, PPE and an update on ONA’s judicial review application.

Apr 30

The Long-Term Care COVID Commission releases its final report

The Honourable Frank N. Marrocco, Angela Coke, and Dr. Jack Kitts, Commissioners of Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission, submitted their Final Report to the Minister of Long-Term Care on April 30, 2021.

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