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Novel Coronavirus

Public Health Agency of Canada

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), a cluster of cases of pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019, and the cause has been confirmed as a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. This virus is now known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. Often, it is referred to in the news as the coronavirus. Canada’s first confirmed case was reported in Ontario in January 2020.

Since strong evidence is crucial to delivering effective nursing care, CNA is encouraging nurses to refer to PHAC for evidence-based, timely and relevant information on the coronavirus. PHAC’s dedicated 2019 Novel Coronavirus webpage, as well as its Facebook and Twitter channels, contain links to health professional guidelines, travel advisories, information on public health risk levels, answers to frequently asked questions, and timely updates. Useful PHAC web links:

PHAC is working with Canadian and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus to be “public health emergency of international concern.” Read the latest on WHO’s website.


“Regulated nurses are an excellent source of information during the coronavirus outbreak. They are well positioned to play an important role both within their communities and the facilities in which they work.”
Watch a CTV interview with CNA president Claire Betker (February 3)

CNA has been following the matter as well. CEO Mike Villeneuve sits on the Chief Public Health Officer’s health professions forum — one of the ways in which health professional organizations meet to talk about public health concerns. Villeneuve has also had teleconference calls with senior officials at PHAC (January 23 and 27) and one teleconference call with Canada’s chief public health officer (January 30).

CNA is offering assistance to PHAC by helping to identify how nurses prefer to receive timely updates.