Open Letter from Doctors and Nurse Practitioners Calls for Immediate Action to Support Under-housed People during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over 300 doctors and nurse practitioners, many of whom work directly with individuals experiencing homelessness, demand urgent action on the crisis facing under-housed people during this pandemic. As services shut down and space for shelter is exceptionally limited, we are seeing some of Ontario’s most marginalized populations being excluded from the essential public health measures required to protect against coronavirus, such as hand washing, physical distancing, and self-isolation. If we continuing as we are, there will be rapid spread, many preventable deaths, and an inability to flatten the curve, further overwhelming our healthcare system.

The letter makes the following demands

  1. All shelters, respites, drop-ins and boarding homes have access to COVID-19 outreach testing and sentinel surveillance
  2. That local public health agencies issue an order for physical distancing for all shelters/respites/drop ins
  3. Rapid opening of 7000+ hotel rooms, housing units and student residences

Read the full letter

Media coverage

  • Interview on CBC Toronto News by Talia Ricci
CBC Toronto reporter Talia Ricci interviews two Toronto physicians, Dr. Nanky Rai and Dr. Michaela Beder, who work directly with individuals experiencing homelessness and see the urgency of action amidst this pandemic