CHRISTINE Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, on Monday announced that with the safety and health of first responders in mind, Ontario’s government has made an emergency order that will allow police, firefighters and paramedics to obtain COVID-19 positive status information about individuals with whom they are coming into contact.
She said: “First responders put their lives on the line every day to protect Ontarians and they are at great risk of being directly exposed to COVID-19 as they fulfill their frontline duties. We must do everything in our power to ensure the health and well-being of those working on the frontlines and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs and keep Ontarians safe.”
Elliott added: “During this pandemic, it is crucial that our first responders have access to this critical information when they are preparing to respond to an emergency in order to protect themselves and the public and help stop the spread of this virus.
“The information disclosed will be limited to an individual’s name, address, date of birth, and whether the individual has had a positive COVID-19 test result. Strict protocols will be enforced to limit access to this information and will only be used to allow first responders to take appropriate safety precautions to protect themselves and the communities they serve.”
Elliott said: “Once the declaration of emergency is lifted, this data will be made inaccessible to first responders.
“We will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Ontarians.”