COVID-19: Information for NDs

The College of Naturopaths of Ontario is closely monitoring the evolving situation and is one of many health system partners that are involved in daily teleconferences with the Ministry of Health and that receive daily Situation Reports.  
We will update this webpage as information relating to the regulation of naturopathy in Ontario becomes available. Our information for patients will also be updated with relevant information as needed.
We encourage you to check back often for updates. Recent e-mails to the profession can be found at the end of this page.

Latest Update: We issued an update to Members on May 15, 2020 about the Ontario Government’s Stage 1 framework to reopen business in Ontario and how it applies to naturopathy. Access the full e-mail at the bottom of this page.

Read the latest FAQs

Priority Directive from the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Effective March 19, 2020, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health ordered that all non-essential and elective services provided by professionals governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act should cease or be reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice. Allowable exceptions can be made for time-sensitive circumstances to avert or avoid negative patient outcomes or to avert or avoid a situation that would have a direct impact on the safety of patients.

Please read the Directive from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (PDF below), which includes guidelines and provides more detail.

Updated Directive #1 for Health Care Providers and Health Care Entities

On March 30, 2020, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health provided updates to Directive #1 for Health Care Providers and Health Care Entities. The updated Directive requires:

  • A point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA) must be performed by every health care worker before every patient interaction.  
    Note: Public Health Ontario’s Performing Risk Assessment Related to Routine Practices and Additional Precautions can be found here: 
  • At a minimum, contact and droplet precautions must be used by workers for all interactions with suspected, presumed or confirmed COVID-19 patients. Contact and droplet precautions includes gloves, face shields or goggles, gowns, and surgical/procedure masks, and 
  • Airborne precautions when aerosol generating medical procedures (AGMPs) are planned or anticipated to be performed on patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, based on a point of care risk assessment and clinical and professional judgement.

Please read the updated Directive from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (pdf below).

Virtual Care & Telepractice

Based on the directive issued on March 19, 2020 by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario (CMOH), all non-essential and elective services provided by professionals governed under the Regulated Health Professions Act (including naturopaths) should cease or be reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions set out in the directive. 

Telepractice and virtual care may only continue if deemed to be an essential service in alignment with the principles outlined in the directive.

On March 27, 2020 the Ministry Emergency Operations Centre (MEOC) and the Health Workforce Regulatory Oversight Branch of the Ministry of Health both confirmed that the directive from the CMOH remains in effect. See the bottom of this web page for the e-mail message distributed to College Members about this topic (COVID-19 Update – March 27).

Our Regulatory Guidance page discusses requirements for Telepractice if a Member determines they will provide this. 

Ontario Health Workforce Portal

The Ontario government is taking further action to stop the spread of COVID-19 by actively recruiting health care workers to increase the frontline capacity of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres. 

 The government's Health Workforce Matching Portal enables health care providers with a range of experience to join the province's response to COVID-19. 

The portal will match the availability and skillsets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management.

Additional resources about the program include:
1) information sheet about the portal and how it works; 
2) an FAQ; and
3) a training guide for providers about how to access the tool and create an account.

Mandatory Reporting

COVID-19 is a designated disease reportable under Ontario’s public health legislation. Naturopaths have a responsibility to report suspected cases of COVID-19 to their local public health unit.

Guidance Documents & Resources 

There are a number of sources Members may wish to consult for current information about COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health provides regular updates on the status of cases in Ontario for health professionals, and updates for the public. This dedicated web page will be updated every weekday at 10:30 a.m. ET with the most current information on the status of cases in the province. The Ministry’s website also provides specific guidance for health care providers.

Public Health Ontario offers a resource page for health care providers professionals, including best practices.

The Government of Canada’s website provides daily updates on COVID-19 in Canada as well as information about the federal government’s response. 

Member Advertising & Claims About COVID-19

Any statements by naturopaths about the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 (beyond the information that is available from public health authorities) are inappropriate, potentially harmful, and likely to violate the College's Standard of Practice for Advertising. When brought to the attention of the College, such statements will be forwarded to the Inquiries, Complaints & Reports Committee for investigation.

The College’s Standard of Practice for Advertising prohibits marketing and/or advertising that is false, inaccurate, reasonably capable of misleading the public, unverifiable, or contrary to the public interest in the practice of the profession.

Keeping Members Informed

Below are recently-issued updates, including e-mail messages sent to College Members for whom we have a valid address.