Dr. Bonnie and Dr. Theresa Tam’s Response to Long Covid August 2020

Dr. Bonnie and Dr. Theresa Tam’s Response to Long Covid August 2020

On June 30th 2020, 52 Permanent residents and Canadians across the country wrote and signed an open letter to all public health officials

This was their response

On June 30th 2020, 52 Permanent residents and Canadians across the country wrote and signed an open letter to all public health officials

This was their response

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Dear ********,

In response to the open letter on long-term COVID-19 illnesses, signed by 52 Canadians , and send to members of the COVID-19 Special Advisory Committee on Jun 30th, please find attached a reply from

Dr. Bonnie Henry
Council of Chief
Medical Officers of Health and

Dr. Theresa Tam,
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

Thank you for taking the time to highlight this important health issue.


Public Health Agency of Canada,COVID-19Special Advisory Committee (SAC)Secretariat.”

CC: Members of CCMOH

August 20, 2020

Dear ******** ,

I am writing in response to your correspondence of June 30, 2020, regarding the long-term impacts of a diagnosed or probable COVID-19 infection on the health and well-being of Canadians. I am replying on behalf of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19, which comprises members of the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network Council and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health of Canada.

Thank you for sharing your request for research on long-term health effects of COVID-19, as well as your letter outlining the challenges you and others have experienced with regards to ongoing symptoms, seeking medical care and information, and concern for spreading COVID-19 to your close contacts. We appreciate all 52 of you having taken the time to write, and would like to assure you that your suggestions and recommendations are being well considered.

Our priority as Chief Medical Officers of Heath is the health and safety of Canadians. Through the Special Advisory Committee that leads the collective public health response to COVID-19, we are working together to ensure that our preparedness and response measures for Canada are based on the latest science and are responsive to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Canada is home to some of the most skilled and recognized researchers in the world, who are working hard to support international efforts to fight this pandemic. Every day, we are adding to our knowledge of COVID-19 and how this virus is affecting the Canadian population, including from the rapid growth of new scientific evidence. In order to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of COVID-19 infection we are working to mobilize Canada’s scientific communities to advance research and technological developments in the Canadian context.

From the very beginning, Canada’s response to COVID-19 has been based on the latest available science and advice. Data and research from various sources are being reviewed and analyzed on a daily-basis to support planning and the public health response.

To optimize Canada’s research response, the CanCOVID (https://cancovid.ca) platform of experts was launched in early April. The network includes researchers, clinicians, and healthcare stakeholders from across the country and internationally to expedite

communication and collaboration between the scientific, healthcare and policy communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

You may be interested to know that Western University, the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have launched a global study on COVID-19 and long-term effects on the brain. More information can be found here: https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study

The Government of Canada has also established the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, that operates under the direction of a leadership group, which includes Dr. David Naylor (co-chair), Dr. Catherine Hankins (co-chair), Dr. Tim Evans, Dr. Mona Nemer, and myself. The task force has established priorities and is overseeing the coordination of a series of country-wide blood test surveys that will tell us how many individuals have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood, how widely the virus has spread in Canada and provide understanding of potential immunity and vulnerabilities in Canadian population sub-groups. This will help complement our understanding of COVID-19 cases in Canada identified through diagnostic testing. For more information on the task force please visit: https://www.covid19immunitytaskforce.ca/

In addition, on April 23, 2020, the Government of Canada announced more than $1 billion in support of a national medical research strategy to fight COVID-19 that includes vaccine development, the production of treatments, and tracking of the virus. This new funding builds on the $275 million investment for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures announced in March.

Currently, the treatment of COVID-19 includes providing supportive care and treating secondary infections, such as pneumonia.

The Government of Canada has published information on how to care for those with milder cases of COVID-19 in the home environment: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/how-to-care-for-person-with-covid-19-at-home-advice-for-caregivers.html; https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/how-to-care-for-child-with-covid-19-at-home-advice-for-caregivers.html.

For individuals who have more severe or prolonged illness due to COVID-19 that requires medical assistance, they are encourage to seek medical care from their regular health care provider or contact their provincial or territorial health line for further information: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms/provincial-territorial-resources-covid-19.html.

For your information, Health Canada has authorized clinical trials of potential therapies. You can find the full list at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-clinical-trials/list-authorized-trials.html.

As this situation continues to evolve rapidly, Canadians are encouraged to regularly visit the Government of Canada’s website, www.canada.ca/coronavirus, as well as public health authorities resources within their respective jurisdiction, to access the most up-to-date and credible information on COVID-19.

I hope this information is helpful in addressing your concerns. We thank you for writing and for your advocacy of this important issue.


Dr. Bonnie Henry

Chair, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health

CC: Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada