TORONTO—On Monday, the government 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.
“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,” issued the province in a press release.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, issued the following statement regarding new emergency measures to protect Ontario's first responders and stop the spread of COVID-19:
"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.
“With their safety and health in mind, our 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.”
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.
Once the declaration of emergency is lifted, this data will be made inaccessible to first responders, noted the press release.
“We will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Ontarians,” it said.