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Emergency responders can now obtain COVID-19 positive status information about individuals

'We must do everything in our power to ensure the health and well-being of those working on the frontlines'
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Ontario 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. (File)

Ontario 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.

During this pandemic, Ontario said it is crucial that first responders have access to critical COVID-19 information when they are preparing to respond to an emergency — to protect themselves and the public, and to 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.

Once the declaration of emergency is lifted, this data will be made inaccessible to first responders.

"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,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of Health. “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.”