OTTAWA – Since the start of the pandemic, nurses and other health care professionals have been on the frontline, delivering high quality and compassionate care under challenging and difficult circumstances to ensure that people in Canada continue to receive not only COVID-19 care, but the health services needed to support well-being.
This year’s theme of National Nursing Week, “We Answer The Call” highlights the many roles that nurses play in a patients’ healthcare journey, from education and delivery of public health programs including vaccinations, to implementing infection control and prevention measures and contributing to research. We all benefit from their knowledge, skills and care and never has this been more evident than this past year. From the many nurses who have come out of retirement to the creative ways nurses have worked to ensure human connection despite COVID-19 restrictions, thank you for the many sacrifices you have made and for your commitment to providing exceptional care. Please take a moment this week to thank nurses in your community and show your appreciation by doing your part to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
As vaccine eligibility expands, Canadians are urged to get vaccinated and support others to get vaccinated as vaccines become available to them. However, regardless of our vaccination status, Canadians are urged to remain vigilant, continue following local public health advice, and consistently maintain individual practices that keep us and our families safer, even as we’re beginning to see the positive impacts of COVID-19 vaccines: stay home/self-isolate if you have any symptoms, think about the risks and reduce non-essential activities and outings to a minimum, avoid all non-essential travel, and maintain individual protective practices of physical distancing, hand, cough and surface hygiene and wearing a well-fitted and properly worn face mask as appropriate (including in shared spaces, indoors or outdoors, with people from outside of your immediate household).
For more information regarding the risks and benefits of vaccination, I encourage Canadians to reach out to your local public health authorities, healthcare provider, or other trusted and credible sources, such as Canada.ca and Immunize.ca. Working together, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, Canada’s Chief Medical Officers of Health and other health professionals across the country are closely monitoring vaccine safety, effectiveness and optimal use to adapt approaches. As the science and situation evolves, we are committed to providing clear and evidence-informed guidance in order to keep everyone in Canada safe and healthy.
Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities and by downloading the COVID Alert app to break the cycle of infection and help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Statement from Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam – CNW