First Ministers’ statement on shared public health approach to support restarting the economy

Sufficient public health capacity is in place to test, trace, and isolate all cases – Testing and contact tracing are in place so that suspected cases are detected quickly and all confirmed cases are effectively isolated, while all close contacts are traced, quarantined, and monitored.

Expanded health care capacity exists for all patients, COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 – Health care systems should support all needs, including dealing with any future outbreaks, recognizing that this will be achieved through having surge capacity in place and other means (e.g. virtual care) to enable the system support for COVID and non-COVID patients. Provinces and territories are best suited to determine how comprehensive health care services are supported, including primary care, diagnostic services, and acute care services including elective surgeries and non-COVID emergencies. Measures should address health-sector human resource capacity, and resources for personal protective equipment, drugs, and other medical supplies. Procurement of supplies will ensure that there is adequate supply on hand in case of a resurgence of the virus and to support enhanced testing.

Supports are in place for vulnerable groups/communities and key populations – Measures are in place to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the virus in vulnerable populations, which can directly lead to increased community spread. Sustained measures are in place to protect seniors, residents of group living facilities, workers in close quarters, inmates, homeless people, and Indigenous people and those living in remote locations, along with health care workers and other essential workers. Sufficient testing and personal protective equipment is available to monitor and limit COVID-19 infection in these groups.

Workplace preventative measures – Support and monitoring of workplace protocols are in place to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. These protocols could include administrative controls, hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and access to personal protective equipment where physical distancing is not possible. Strong collaboration and oversight processes are in place to ensure protocols are being met.

Avoiding risk of importation – Restrictions on non-essential domestic travel should be eased and managed in a coordinated manner. Re-opening of international borders and access for non-Canadian residents may only happen in later stages, taking into account the spread of the virus outside Canada, and measures to avoid the spread of the virus for everyone entering the country (e.g., self-isolation, testing).