This Briefing Note was completed by the Research, Analysis, and Evaluation Branch (Ministry of Health).
This note summarizes research evidence on community-tailored interventions for COVID-19.
*The full version of the Briefing Note including the Supporting Evidence can be accessed in the PDF file at the top of the page*
The literature search identified 61 systematic reviews, reviews, or studies that suggest the following interventions are important for successful outbreak control:
- Eviction moratoriums and COVID-19 transmission: Renters are both more financially vulnerable and more apt to be financially affected by the virus. Evictions lead to significant increase in COVID-19 infections, particularly in heterogenous cities in which both evictions and contacts occur more frequently in poorer neighborhoods. Research suggests that policies to stem evictions are important components of COVID-19 control (e.g., municipal eviction moratoriums).
- Increased testing and decreased epidemic growth: Along with early adoption of testing and contact tracing, factors including prevalence of the infection, test targeting, and regional implementation of strong social distancing measures are critical factors in decreasing epidemic growth.
- Job protections: Research suggests that job protection policies across jurisdictions are urgently needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include paid sick leave policies, as well as policies that emphasize flexibility for the diversity of childcare needs, easy and quick access to government relief funding, and child-care support programs that allow parents to better cope with their responsibilities during the pandemic.
- New Canadian initiatives include: Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits, Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Emergency Care Benefit, Temporary wage top-up for low-income essential workers, Canada Child Benefit, and Canada Emergency Student Benefit.
- Support and interventions through community agencies: Collaborations among public health authorities and community-based organizations (e.g., welfare agencies, corrections facilities, religious institutions) is critical for promoting health, protecting communities, and supporting vulnerable populations throughout all phases of the COVID-19 response.
Analysis for Ontario
In terms of evidence on job protection, the Government of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (2000) was amended to include an unpaid, job-protected infectious disease emergency leave for employees that is retroactive to January 25, 2020. The Act stipulates that employers cannot require employees to provide medical notes to prove they are eligible for the leave.
This section summarizes the findings of 59 articles from the scientific literature (i.e., systematic reviews, reviews, single studies) and the grey literature on community-tailored interventions for COVID-19, including:
- Eviction moratoriums and COVID-19 transmission;
- Adjustments to sick leave practices;
- Association between increased testing and decreased epidemic growth;
- Protections against firing employees declining to work when ill;
- Job protection;
- Messaging and communication;
- Provision of support and interventions through community agencies;
- Community-based local testing strategies; and
- Case management practices and adherence to public health interventions
*The full version of the Supporting Evidence can be accessed in the PDF file at the top of the page*