Item - 2023.HL7.1
- This item was considered by Board of Health on October 23, 2023 and was adopted without amendment.
HL7.1 - Planning for the 2023 to 2024 Respiratory Virus Season
- Decision Type:
The Board of Health:
1. Requested the Medical Officer of Health to monitor the impacts of the respiratory season on Toronto residents and report back to the Board of Health in January with a situational update, if necessary.
2. Requested the Ministry of Health to provide $5.1 million in annual funding for Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) hubs to prevent and mitigate the impacts of outbreaks, particularly in long-term care and retirement homes, and other congregate settings such as shelters and group homes.
Decision Advice and Other Information
The Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health gave a presentation on 2023 to 2024 Respiratory Season Update.
This report provides an overview of Toronto Public Health's (TPH's) 2023-2024 respiratory virus season plan for monitoring, preventing, and responding to cases of infection in communities and outbreaks in institutions, and collaborating with the broader health system. An equity-focus was included in all planning.
This season, epidemiological data suggests that Toronto will experience a high level of respiratory virus activity. Protective measures to reduce transmission of these viruses such as masking, hand washing, and physical distancing can continue to be used in a layered approach with vaccination, which remains the most effective protection against these agents. For the 2023-2024 fall and winter respiratory season, publicly-funded vaccines will be available to protect against COVID-19, influenza, and for select eligible people, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Toronto Public Health (TPH) is encouraging residents to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
This report outlines monitoring updates that include the replacement of the COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard with the enhanced Integrated Respiratory Disease Dashboard and the integration of influenza and COVID-19 indicators in TPH's Wastewater Dashboard. For prevention, TPH's vaccination campaign encompasses influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, which will be available through many settings throughout the city, and RSV vaccines, which will be available at select locations for eligible groups. The plan also contains a comprehensive 2023-2024 respiratory virus communications plan and an outbreak response component that supports readiness in hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other congregate settings, such as shelters and group homes. Finally, TPH will collaborate with the broader health system to promote the effective and efficient use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) and antiviral treatments. To streamline collaboration, TPH has participated in several Ministry of Health tabletop exercises for fall planning.
(October 23, 2023) Presentation from the Associate Medical Officer of Health on 2023 to 2024 Respiratory Season Update
(October 23, 2023) E-mail from Derek Moran (HL.New)