02 March 2020 – Ontario implements new response structure in preparation for COVID-19

Type of Intervention: New Tool / Service / Body
Sectors Involved: Finance/Economy, Health
Intervention Categories: Planning and strategy; Creation of or release of plans
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Deputy Premier and Minister of Health for Ontario, Christine Elliot

Overview: Deputy Premier of Ontario and Minister of Health, Christine Elliot, announced Ontario’s enhanced response structure to bring together multiple partners to review, improve, and implement the provincial plans to respond to COVID-19. New response structure is comprised of “tables” that each have specific mandates.
Includes: “Command Table” (provides executive leadership, strategic direction to guide Ontario’s response. Involves numerous leaders from Ontario’s health system, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development);
“Regional planning and implementation tables” (review regional plans to ensure local readiness and implementing provincial strategies);
“Ministry’s Emergency Operations Centre” (provides situational awareness, perform overall coordination function);
“Scientific Table” (led by Public Health Ontario – provides scientific and technical evidence to inform planning, response);
“Ethics Table” (provides ethical guidance to provincial and regional tables to support decision-making);
“Sector or Issues Specific Tables” (specific focus, e.g. coordination with First Nations health partners, paramedic services);
“Collaboration Table” (members from health sector organizations to advise Command Table.
New structure has goal of expanding network of clinical expertise, ensure appropriate plans are in place to response quickly and effectively to all possible scenarios.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-implementing-enhanced-measures-to-safeguard-public-from-covid-19.html

Type of Justification: Perception of an increased threat
Source of Evidence or Justification: International – other
Evidence/Justification: There is mention of the increasing international scope of COVID-19. The announcement cites these actions as taking action to improve readiness. The specific “tables” of the structure involve internal advisory bodies (e.g. Ontario Health, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Ontario) – but there is no justification as to why these groups are included or that these groups advised these actions.