Learning to live with COVID-19

The OMA’s recommendations for Ontario’s ongoing pandemic response.

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario continues to rise, tackling the pandemic is a shared responsibility of both the system and individuals. It is essential to plan and implement strategies for the next phases of COVID-19 and adjust to Ontario’s evolving “new normal.”  

The white paper, A Prescription for Ontario: Maintaining Vigilance as We Learn to Live with COVID-19 (PDF), prepared by the Ontario Medical Association, provides recommendations for the Ontario system and Ontarians to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while also tackling the ongoing backlog of medical services. The recommendations are based on lessons learned from the first wave of the pandemic and principles for going forward.

Below are key system and individual recommendations. Read the white paper for additional recommendations.  

Ontario’s Doctors recommend the system:

  • adopt a strategy to address COVID-19 flare-ups early. This may include local short-term, non-essential closures
  • prepare and deploy mobile rapid response teams so trained personnel can identify and contain COVID-19 flare-ups through clinical support, testing, contact tracing and isolation
  • use pop-up testing to bring COVID-19 assessment capacity to hot spots and vulnerable communities as well as support mobile response teams in those communities
  • identify COVID-19 hospitals in each region to allow non-COVID-19 hospitals to ramp up clinical activity and address clinical backlog

Ontario’s Doctors recommend individuals:

  • get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms or come in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • wear a face covering or mask in all indoor public spaces and outdoor spaces when physical distancing may be difficult
  • continue with proper hygiene practices, including hand-washing
  • avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings
  • download and use the COVID Alert App
  • continue to seek care for non-COVID-19-related conditions, including mental health concerns
  • get a flu shot when they become available
  • balance the benefits to your mental, social, developmental, physical and financial well-being against decisions that may put you and/or others at risk
  • create a plan for managing essential needs, should you need to self-isolate