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The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is a group of scientific experts and health system leaders who evaluate and report on emerging evidence relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform Ontario’s response. The Science Advisory Table’s mandate is to provide summaries of relevant scientific evidence to public health and health care professionals, as well as the general public, by integrating information from existing scientific tables, Ontario’s universities and agencies, and the best global evidence. The Science Advisory Table is hosted by Public Health Ontario (PHO). Aligned with PHO’s mandate, the Science Advisory Table provides credible and independent scientific and technical advice to inform government and the broader public about COVID-19 and to help prepare for and respond to future public health emergencies.

Key Message

Primary care is a crucial component of pandemic and health emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. It is also essential to continued health system improvement, person-centred care in communities, and optimal population health for Ontarians. A capacity crisis in primary care has deepened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Urgent efforts are needed to address the factors that limit primary care provision. This will include ensuring an infrastructure that supports coordinated and integrated primary care. It will also include ensuring the training, support, and retention of interdisciplinary health human resources (HHR) that comprise teams providing care associated with patient enrolment models (PEMs), so they are equitable and accessible for all Ontarians before, during, and after public health emergencies.