21 March 2020 – Ontario announces Declaration of Emergency to allow for reprioritisation and management of healthcare resources

Type of Intervention: Regulation
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Ontario Government, Ministry of Health, Solicitor General (Sylvia Jones)

Overview: The Ontario government announced a new temporary order under the March 17th declaration of emergency aimed at ensuring availability of health care resources. The order gives hospitals the ability to cancel/post-pone services, identify staff priorities, and develop and utilize redeployment plans. The order supports hospital efforts to prevent and alleviate COVID-19 outbreaks using measures such as:
– Redeployment of staff to different locations and to work in assessment centres
– Changing scheduling and assignment of work
– Deferring/cancelling of vacations, absences, and other leaves
– Employment of extra part-time, temporary, and contract staff and volunteers
– Providing appropriate education and training opportunities to staff to fulfill the redeployment plans
This order is valid for 14 days, unless revoked or renewed in accordance with Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-takes-extraordinary-steps-to-ensure-health-care-resources-are-available-to-contain-covid-19.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Pressure/requests from frontline workers
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Chief Medical Officer of Health; requests from frontline workers
Evidence/Justification: The Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, advised this order. Additionally, the order was made in response to clear, urgent requests from frontline health care workers. The order aims to help ensure health care workers are working where they are needed and when they are needed so that care can be provided for Ontarians when it is needed. The order also aims to support efforts to contain COVID-19.