Main navigation english

Canadian Public Health Association

CPHA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

In March 2020, COVID-19 forever changed our lives and made us keenly aware of the importance of our health, as individuals and as a collective. Public health is an integral part of our day to day activities.

What is public health?

Public health aims to optimize the physical and mental health of the population, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable. Public health plays four essential roles: protect, monitor, prevent, promote.
Learn more.

The public health community is actively leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you for your tireless efforts.

During this challenging time, you can play a positive role in the outbreak response, even if you’re not involved in community-based service delivery.

  • Be a positive voice of evidence-based information on social media;
  • Be a champion of #COVIDkindness by supporting high-risk individuals in your community; and
  • Encourage your family, friends and colleagues to follow the advice of public health officials and model healthy behaviours!

Supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

CPHA has put together a package of public health messages related to COVID-19 that can be posted to social media. We posted the messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We encourage you to amplify our messages and/or adapt them and post (or re-tweet, re-post or share) them from your own social accounts. Download our toolkit to access the messages and instructions for posting.

CPHA in the news

CPHA has been responding to numerous requests for interviews and is regularly covered in the news.

CPHA affirms support for Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada

In light of recent public comments, the CPHA takes this opportunity to re-affirm its support for Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada (CPHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and the provincial/territorial and local public health authorities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the news release.

CPHA calls for culturally safe collection and use of socio-demographic and race-based data

Recognizing CPHA’s commitment to health equity, anti-racism and reconciliation, we advocate for a nimble response to collaborating with and being accountable to communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 to ensure the collection and responsible use of race and socio-demographic data that will enable appropriate service response during this and upcoming waves of COVID-19.

Read the statement.

CPHA statement against racism

We are all deeply troubled by recent events involving the tragic killings of Black Americans. These brutal and unconscionable acts remind us of the individual and systemic racism that exists and that results in negative health outcomes for those affected.

Read the statement.

Briefing on the Canadian response to the outbreak of the coronavirus

On 9 April 2020, CPHA's Executive Director, Ian Culbert, appeared as a witness in front of the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Health (HESA) to provide a briefing on the Canadian response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Said Mr. Culbert, “[The Canadian response] is guided by a set of principles embodied in existing pandemic preparedness plans and includes a number of commitments. First, all levels of government and stakeholders are collaborating to produce an effective and coordinated response. Second, decisions are based on the best available evidence. Third, the response to the pandemic is proportionate to the level of the threat at any given point in time. Finally, plans and actions are flexible and tailored to the situation, and evolve as new information becomes available.”

Health workers' survey

CPHA worked with Montreal’s research firm Potloc to survey 578 health professionals who are working in hospitals and at test centres across Canada to gain their insights into what is happening on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. The data are now available via an interactive dashboard, with graphic visualizations and long-tail commentary for you to explore. Request access to the dashboard.


COVID-19 vaccine development: An update

This 75-minute webinar included an overview of the epidemiology of COVID-19 (to date) along with a discussion of the progress being made in Canada and elsewhere to develop a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19. The session was moderated by Bonnie Henry (Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia) and included Gary Kobinger (Université Laval), Marianne Stanford (IMV-Inc.) and Brian Ward (McGill University) as panelists.
View the recording


Collecting and using socio-demographic and race-based data

CPHA is a signatory to a letter to Premier Ford, Deputy Premier Elliott and Dr. Williams regarding the need to collect and use socio-demographic and race-based data.

Return of Parliament

On request from a Conservative Member of Parliament, CPHA (along with the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Medical Association  and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons) provided suggestions for a healthy return to Parliament. We stipulated that, foremost, in-person meetings should not take place and that technological solutions should be utilized. In the case this was not possible, a lengthy set of criteria were noted that would be necessary to make the return of Parliamentarians relatively more safe.

Drug decriminalization as a necessary response to COVID-19

CPHA, along with over 50 leading human rights, health, and drug policy organizations, calls on key ministers in the federal government to immediately decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs in response to the twin crises of opioid overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Improving Long-term Care for People in Canada

To address the flaws COVID-19 has revealed in the support and care systems available to Canada’s older people, we recommend the Government take immediate action on three important fronts.

The Basic Shelf Cookbook

To continue to support everyone affected by COVID-19, CPHA is providing you with free access to 10 low-cost, nutritious recipes from The Basic Shelf Cookbook! The Basic Shelf Cookbook is a very special cookbook because all the recipes can be made from one list of low-cost, nutritious ingredients that make up what we call “the basic shelf”. The Basic Shelf Cookbook was originally developed in the early 1990s by the City of York Health Unit and is designed for anyone living on a budget. The recipes are nutritious, tasty and are quick and easy to make. You do not need to be an expert cook or have a lot of expensive equipment to prepare these recipes. Using these recipes will help you save money and you will still be able to enjoy healthy, nutritious foods.

Call for papers related to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Canadian Journal of Public Health (CJPH) is currently soliciting original articles, reviews and correspondence related to the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CJPH serves as a vehicle for timely, high-quality, relevant research and commentary for the community of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to support understanding of this complex public health emergency, and knowledge exchange to inform decisions to improve the public health response.

Government of Canada coronavirus disease outbreak update

Read the latest information on the pandemic from the Government of Canada. Several resources are available for the public as well as for health professionals.