COVID-19: COA Member Resource Centre

*last updated on May 23, 2020

We are dedicated to getting through this together

The COA recognizes that our professional and personal lives have been shaken by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the COA leadership, committees, and staff members stand strong for our members. We are committed to providing you with every means of support possible to help you navigate through the changes you are experiencing as a health-care professional. We are working with our leadership and partner associations to deliver practical tools to assist you.

This page will be updated regularly and can be used as a point of reference to find answers and information on your COVID-19 related concerns. New information, resources, and guidelines from partner associations, the federal and provincial government, and the COA, will be added as they become available.

Check in and stay in touch: The COA’s pledge to you

In these uncertain and challenging times, your Association wants each and every member to know that we are all working together to support you during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to getting you important information as quickly as possible on our website, and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions or comments via email or on our Twitter and Instagram social media platforms. A member of our staff will try to respond as soon as possible.

COA President’s Statements

Learn more about how the COA leadership is managing this crisis by reading the most up-to-date statement by the COA President about COVID-19 here.

COA Advocacy Initiatives

Resuming Restorative Surgery: Prioritizing Orthopaedic Surgery Nationwide

As the COVID-19 pandemic stabilizes and hospitals begin to plan for surgeries that have been postponed, surgeons and decision makers will face ongoing challenges in prioritizing care until our health-care system is fully re-opened. The pandemic has resulted in deferred surgery for thousands of orthopaedic patients awaiting time-sensitive restorative surgery across Canada. These delays in care have resulted in immeasurable pain and suffering for patients. As various provincial governments are now triaging access to care during the gradual resumption of activity, the Canadian Orthopaedic Association is advocating for the tens of thousands of orthopaedic patients, whose access to quality of life altering treatments has been deferred. Click here to view the COA’s Position Statement on Resuming Restorative Surgery: Prioritizing Orthopaedic Surgery Nationwide

Remuneration for Orthopaedic Surgeons During the COVID-19 Pandemic – COA Position Statement

E-mail to obtain a copy of the COA’s Position Statement on Remuneration for Orthopaedic Surgeons During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Organizations for Health Action (HEAL)

HEAL, Organizations for Health Action, is a coalition of 40 national health organizations, including the COA, dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and the quality of care they receive. HEAL provides a range of health care services across Canada.

Review their March 25 COVID-19 press release, including survey results regarding how COVID-19 is impacting national health organizations and their members. Review the findings here.

OE COVID-19 Resource Centre

Launched on Friday, March 27, OE’s COVID-19 Resource Centre is an evidence-based review platform in partnership with JBJS, a library of full text publications, exclusive podcasts, and member insights worldwide. Use the Resource Centre to stay updated on all emerging evidence related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Access it here.

Additional Resources

This page is continually under review and will be updated as this situation evolves. Please visit the provincial and territorial resources for COVID-19 page for updated guidance specific to your province or territory.

Federal Resources:

Government guidelines for patients and general public on the COVID-19 outbreak. This can be sent out as a primary and comprehensive resource outlining the official guidelines from the federal government to all citizens. Access it by clicking here.

What health professionals need to know: a guide that provides points of information specified for health-care workers in Canada. This page includes epidemiological information, diagnostic and reporting details, and recommendations to health-care professionals. Access it by clicking here.

Additional Guides by the Government of Canada for public health-care professionals:

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has issues guidelines for health-care organizations to help minimize the risk of exposure and transmission of the virus within practice settings. Access the links below:

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Leadership at the Royal College is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and responding to the changing needs of surgeons as quickly as possible. Committed to the health and wellness of Canadians, they are monitoring the effect of COVID-19 on all residents, Fellows and staff. The Royal College’s Crisis Management Team is working hard to ensure they are responding to the current needs of residents and Fellows.

In recent weeks, they have taken certain measures to support and assist all residents and fellows navigate through some negative consequences COVID-19 has had.  Their comprehensive FAQ statement addresses your questions and concerns related to your 2020-2021 membership dues and 2020 annual requirements. Access it by clicking here.

The Royal College has also collected accurate and up-to-date evidence-based information and resources accessible via these Global, pan-Canadian and regional resources

Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association and the Public Health Agency of Canada have teamed up together with the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health to communicate and share the most up-to-date information for physicians and patients.  Click here to access their comprehensive resource centre

Ontario Orthopaedic Association

Our colleagues at the OOA have published a resource page, accessible here. It includes their recommendations for patient interaction and details on setting up your virtual practice.

Choosing Wisely Canada

As a part of their COVID-19 resource page, Choosing Wisely Canada circulated a new list of 9 recommendations on April 2, 2020. These have been developed based on responses and input from stakeholders on efforts related to #COVID19. See the new list on using resources wisely for the public and clinicians by clicking here.

Joule (a CMA Company)

Joule COVID-19 Learning Series, tools for physicians

Joule is a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association, focused on supporting physicians in their pursuit of clinical excellence via new innovations in health care. Joule provides the latest evidence-based clinical research in combination with continuing education. They collaborate with physician entrepreneurs to advance new initiatives in healthcare technology and digital care in Canada.

Joule has created efficient 30-minute informative videos dedicated to answering physicians’ questions and concerns related to their practice in light of COVID-19, which can be accessed here.

Highlights from the FREE Joule COVID-19 Learning Series include:

  • Episode 1: Making virtual care work for you
  • Episode 3: Maintaining high performance in times of stress

Joule’s “As a Librarian” Research Centre

Have a specific question or topic you need additional research on? Submit a request with Joule’s “As a Librarian” and a member of their team will get back to you with the most up to date clinical information you seek. Click here to be directed to their page.

CPG: Clinical Practice Guidelines Infobase

Browse through the current clinical guidance collection here.

The Royal College has published billing guidelines and government resources for each province, outlined in the quick links below (full article here).

The COA recommends that you regularly check provincial and federal communication channels to stay current on support programs in place for you.

COA Communications Committee member, Dr. Adrian Huang, provides virtual clinic tips in these informative video clips:

  • Creating Your Virtual Health Clinic for Physicians:

  • How to Enable Breakout Rooms:

  • Zoom Tips & Tricks for MOA’s:

Access the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s web page on setting up your virtual care and Telemedicine guidelines by province. This page aims at helping health-care providers gain knowledge on Telemedicine and guide them through the first steps in establishing their virtual practice.  Access it by clicking here.

Managing your practice during COVID-19 by the Canadian Medical Association: A great source on how to manage patient visits and general guidelines on transitioning your practice away from in-person meetings. Access it by clicking here.

Telemedicine playbook (CMA, RC)

The Canadian Medical Association in collaboration with Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, have developed a Virtual Care playbook. The playbook is designed to help doctors organize their virtual medical practice and addresses some issues behind this.  This playbook will support Canadian physicians as they introduce virtual patient encounters into their daily practices. The playbook, which is an extension to the recommendations put forward by the Virtual Care Taskforce earlier this year, covers key considerations for physicians to help them succeed at providing safe, effective and efficient virtual care.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guide by the World Health Organization. This statement provides a basis on how to continue delivering clinical care and manage your patients in light of isolation, distancing, and quarantine. It is a great resource that can be shared with the general public and your patients. Access it by clicking here.

Canadian Medical Association COVID-19 poster and video

The CMA issued a comprehensive and informative poster for you to download and send electronically to your patients, or post on the front doors of your work place. Please feel free to use and share widely. Access it by clicking here. You can also watch and share their informative video.

The CMA also created a preliminary resource to address psychological counselling to be used by medical and non-medical personnel, accessible here.

They offer various guides to help maintain personal well being, including:

Joule Personal Wellness Videos

Joule (a CMA company) provides free videos on physician wellbeing as a part of their COVID-19 Learning Series. These informative clips provide practical tips and can be shared with your colleagues, family, friends and patients. Access the entre series here.

  • Episode 4: Running on empty: Staying healthy during difficult times
  • Episode 7: Building resilience in times of uncertainty
  • Episode 8: Keeping children safe

COVID Kindness – Sharing stories from the Front Lines

  • Created by the Canadian Medical Association, this page shares uplifting, positive stories from Canadian frontline healthcare workers. Articles include features on “Healthcare Heroes”, “Helping Hands”, and a page that challenges readers to “Try Not to Smile”. This positive content is accessible here.
  • “Back to an empty office: a physician’s COVID-19 experience”: CMA President-Elect Dr. Ann Collins shares her personal and professional experience returning to her medical practice on April 9, 2020, after two weeks of self-isolation. Read her Frontline experience here.

FAQ site for patients

The CMA launched, a Q and A website where frequently asked questions from the public about COVID-19 are answered by reputable sources. This source is available in English and French and can be promoted widely amongst your patients, friends, and family. Access the FAQ page here.

COA Tips: Your well-being matters, more than ever before

In times of crisis, it is important to remember that in order for you to take care of others, you must first be taking proper care of yourself. Below are some tips on how to practice self-care and wellness

  • Ensure you are getting enough good-quality rest, hydration, and proper nutrition.
  • Stay virtually connected with your personal and professional support networks. Video calls and group messaging chats are an easy way to stay socially distant yet still socially connected.
  • Reach out and seek support when you need it! There are many governmental resources being initiated, so stay informed.
  • Make sure to move, every day. This can be a morning walk (at a safe distance from anyone you meet) or at-home physical practice.
  • Manage uncertainty by reading information and updates from reliable and credible sources only, such as the World Health Organization situation reports here.
  • At home with children? This is undoubtedly a stressful time for them as well. Ensure that their feelings are taken into account and review some of the healthy parenting tips issued by WHO here.

Canadian Psychological Association mental health resources related to COVID-19

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has issued fact sheets on some of the psychosocial aspects of this health emergency that you may find helpful.

The United Nation’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee Mental Health Resource

The IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings has created a useful resource to help navigate the public through important impacts the pandemic has on mental health. The briefing summarizes key mental health and psychosocial support considerations in relation to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

You can access it here and circulate widely in your professional and personal circles.

Boldly, physician blog

Created by Joule and the CMA, this Canadian blog centre is dedicated to articles of interest to healthcare workers on a multitude of topics including COVID-19, virtual care, and wellness. Access the page here.

Highlight blog posts include

Physician to Physician support by the CMA

The CMA is exploring ways to connect healthcare professionals and foster peer to peer support in the physician community.  Their Peer Support strategies include tips on how to improve empathetic listening skills and what to do if you are worried about a colleague. Learn more here.


The Canadian Society of Association Executives initiated an in-depth research study on how COVID-19 is impacting the operations of member-based non-profit associations such as ours.

The COA participated in this survey, and the results are available by the CSAE here. It outlines the impacts of COVID-19 on Association membership, finances, and staffing, based on responses of 372 Canadian associations and other not-for-profit organizations between April 29 and May 8, 2020.