OMA: Reopening Ontario to a “New Normal”

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OMA recommends five public health pillars for a safe reopening

As we begin to move towards what we hope is the flattening of the curve and a manageable rate of COVID-19 cases in our health-care system, we can look ahead to reopening Ontario, recognizing the province will need time to prepare.

The Ontario government has released A Framework for Reopening our Province (PDF), which outlines the phased approach and criteria to lift restrictions. As parts of the world begin to transition to a “new normal,” we have a great deal to learn from their experience.

In Reopening Ontario to a “New Normal” (PDF), the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) does not recommend specific criteria or phases for reopening Ontario or prescribe when and which types of public activities and spaces can be reopened. Instead the OMA recommends the public health measures that must be in place as Ontario is gradually reopened.

Until a vaccine or other treatment is developed, five public health pillars must be in place for Ontario to be ready to reopen and throughout all phases of reopening. These pillars are:

  1. Continuing personal protective measures, including wearing masks, physical distancing, influenza vaccination and hygiene practices
  2. Continuing necessary testing, with investment in and uptake of innovative testing solutions, as well as serology testing and immunity research
  3. Capacity to trace all case contacts and to enforce and support contact isolation
  4. Protection of all populations and targeted approaches to protecting children and vulnerable populations
  5. Balancing public trust in and public compliance with the other public health pillars to safely reopen Ontario

Learn more about Reopening Ontario to a “New Normal’ (PDF).