The Ontario government recently announced a province-wide emergency brake which took effect on Saturday, April 3, 2021 in response to the surge in COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations across the province. The province-wide emergency brake impacts all 34 public health units and puts in place public health and workplace safety measures for a period of four weeks.
As the pandemic moves into another year, I want to acknowledge what an extremely challenging time it is for College members, who are continuing to manage the serious impact on a number of levels.
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind College members of the various factors to consider as the Ontario government moves into this latest emergency brake, as we have done on numerous occasions throughout the pandemic.
Reminder – practice considerations
While some members may be permitted to provide in-person services because of the nature of the services they provide, the College strongly advises all members to continue, wherever reasonably possible, to provide services by electronic means.
Members should ensure that they are up to date with respect to information and guidance from government and public health authorities and familiar with previous College communications regarding:
- safety and infection control measures;
- considerations for members regarding in-person practice; and
- key considerations for members in private practice.
Members are also advised to consult the College’s practice resources regularly, including:
- COVID-19 Updates webpage
- Top 6 considerations for virtual services
- FAQs on cross-jurisdictional practice
- ETHICS->A: Ethical Decision-Making Tool
The College is monitoring the situation closely and will provide further communications regarding provincial updates which may impact members and other stakeholders, as they become available.
We continue to take our cues from government and public health authorities and we remind members to do the same.
Members can visit the College’s centralized webpage to access practice support, as well as other COVID-19 resources, links to government and public health authorities, and eBulletins which have been sent to members and other stakeholders throughout the pandemic.
Thank you once again for your ongoing dedication and service.
Keep well and stay safe.
Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW
Registrar and CEO