COVID-19: Member Support


As frontline health care workers, the global COVID-19 pandemic has affected all facets of your lives, from personal to professional. We’ve pulled together some reliable resources to help inform and guide CSMLS members on this health care issue.

Update on Omicron

On 26 November 2021, WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron, on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE).  This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. Here is a summary of what is currently known. Read More

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Reliable Resources


The Canadian Institute for Health Information released several resources with information regarding Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find reports on the pandemic’s impact on Canadian health care systems and health care providers in the links below.



The Role of Laboratory Medicine During the pandemic


Provincial Public Health Information

Mental Health

Timeline of Events

Take Care of Yourself

Pandemic events can impact the mental and physical health of front line health care workers, including medical laboratory professionals. Here are some resources to help you take care of your mental health.

We're All In This Together - But Apart

With social distancing and self-isolation, it's hard to feel connected to friends and family. We are fortunate to live in a time when digital communications is at everyone's fingertips. There are many different applications you can use to communicate with colleagues, friends, and family from anywhere and at any time. Many of these are free to use.

Food and Essentials

With directives to stay home as much as possible, you or family members may be worried about getting access to essential items, such as food and medicine. Consider these online delivery options.

CSMLS Member Resources

COVID-19 Lab Advocate Tools

Medical laboratory professionals are in the spotlight now that they are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Want to explain the lab’s role in COVID-19 testing? These infographics will help. Share them through email and social media to help raise awareness about how medical laboratory professionals are central to patient care.

CSMLS's Response to COVID-19

Medical laboratory professionals were some of the first health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. You stepped up to the challenge and were there for Canadians during this health care crisis.

As your national professional association, it was our responsibility to provide you with the support you needed in this challenging time. You told us your top concerns and priorities, which allowed us to focus on what you needed.

Throughout the pandemic, creating resources to address these needs remained our number one focus. Here’s how you used those resources.


Speaking Up for the Lab

We believe the public should understand the role of Canadian medical laboratory professionals in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we’ve been speaking to media to ensure accurate information is shared with audiences across Canada.

We are committed to being the voice of the lab throughout the pandemic in order to inform and guide the public, the media and decision-makers across the country.

Take a look at the news articles and interviews below to see where your voice was heard recently.

CSMLS Joins Expert Panel on COVID-19 Testing

CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen joined Ed Hand on UnpublishedTV for a special panel discussion on rapid COVID-19 testing. Christine and fellow panelists Jason Kindrachuck, assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, and Steven Newmaster, professor at the University of Guelph, spoke to how rapid tests fit into the fight against COVID-19 and their implications for the public’s safety.

Watch the full episode here.

CSMLS on Global News: MLT Shortages and Ontario’s Testing Backlog

CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen spoke to Jeff McArthur and Carolyn MacKenzie of Global News this week. She firstjoinedMcArthur ontheGlobal News 640 Toronto radio show to speak about the COVID-19 testing situation in Ontario and how MLT shortagesare contributing to the current testing backlog. Nielsen continued the conversation with McArthur and MacKenzie the next day on The Morning Show.

Listen to the podcast interview with JeffMcArthur(beings at 22:17):

Watch the interview with Jeff McArthur and Carolyn MacKenzie:

CSMLS Joins London Morning with Rebecca Zandbergen

London Morning’s Rebecca Zandbergen spoke with CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen about COVID-19 testing in Ontario. Nielsen covered a few factors behind the current backlog in Ontario and sending tests to California for processing, including understaffed laboratories, a reagent shortage, and an ever-growing demand.

Listen to the full interview here.

Ontario Sending COVID-19 Swabs to California to Meet Massive Demand

Amid an ever-increasingdemand for — and backlog of — COVID-19 tests in Ontario laboratories, the provincial government is sending samples from pharmacy tests to a private lab in California for processing. CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen provides some insight behind the decision in this CBC News article.

Read the full article here.

CSMLS Joins The Morning Edition - Saskatchewan

CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen joined Stefani Langenegger for The Morning Edition – Saskatchewan. Nielsen provided insight on COVID-19 testing in the province and how the medical laboratory professional shortage is a challenge exacerbated by the pandemic.

Listen to the full interview here.

Showing the Steps Behind COVID-19 Testing

A CSMLS infographic depicting the steps behind COVID-19 testing was included in Shootin’ the Breeze, a community newspaper centred in Pincher Creek, Alberta. The graphic was published as part of an editorial column thanking Alberta medical laboratory professionals for all their hard work processing tens of thousands of tests every day.

Find it on page 9 of the September 2, 2020 issue

Collecting Data for Health Care Workers and COVID-19

Canada’s rising number of COVID-19 infections includes a significant portion of health care workers. CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen spoke with the National Post on how Public Health collects this type of data and how the information is shared.

Read the full article here

Ontario Lab Professionals and an Uncertain Fall Season

What will this schoolyear and flu season look like for Ontario? CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen provides some insight from the lab to address questions of capacity, a possible second-wave and how medical laboratory professionals are working amid personnel shortages to provide answers as soon as possible.

Read the full Kitchener Today article here

CSMLS on the Hiring Rush in Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is ramping up their daily COVID-19 testing goals, and they are looking to hiremore laboratory professionals and scientists to do so. In this Saskatoon StarPheonix article, the CSMLS stresses the importance of hiring certified laboratory professionals amid the hiring rush to help meet this increased testing demand.

Read the full article here

Shortage Complicates Saskatchewan COVID-19 Testing Goals

Saskatchewan is experiencing a shortage of licensed medical laboratory professionals, an issue made even clearer by the province’sincreased COVID-19 testing goals. CSMLS representative Michael Grant explains that this issue is not isolated to the province; it reflects a nation-wide shortage of medical laboratory technologists.

Read the full article in the Saskatoon StarPheonix here

CSMLS Responds to Point of Care Testing for COVID-19

While rapid, point of care testing(POCT) may be the ideal way to complete COVID-19 tests, medical laboratories’ high standards of accuracy come first. CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen spoke to CityNews about the factors behind a recent recall of a promising new POCT test. Watch the video below for details.

CSMLS on Keeping Labs Well Equipped for COVID-19 Testing

Technologists are the gatekeepers of COVID-19 testing. That’s why we need to ensure medical laboratory professionals are properly equipped for the fight against the pandemic.

Read the full article featuring CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen here

CSMLS Explains Factors Behind Ability to Increase COVID-19 Testing

Medical laboratory professionals are in the spotlight with increasing COVID-19 testing across the nation, and CSMLS CEO explains how medical labs have been able to ramp up testing efforts.

Read the full article here

National Observer: “Laboratory workers are essential workers – and not just during a pandemic”

Medical laboratory professionals are essential workers every day of the year. CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen explains the vital role of medical laboratory professionals and how they are there for your health throughout your life.

Read the full opinion piece in the National Observer here.

“Long waits for COVID-19 test results reveal Canada’s shortage of lab workers”

CEO Christine Nielsen describes how increased testing demand puts a spotlight on the medical lab professional shortage and the factors behind it.

Read the CBC article here

CSMLS on CityNews Toronto: “Ontario’s coronavirus testing backlog decreases”

As COVID-19 testing increases in Ontario, medical laboratory capacity is building by the day. CEO Christine Nielsen appeared on CityNews Toronto to explain how medical labs are adapting to the change.

Watch the interview here:

CSMLS Responds to COVID-19 Testing Challenges on CBC

With calls to ramp up COVID-19 testing across Canada, there are still challenges we must face. CEO Christine Nielsen spoke with CBC about the importance of having qualified professionals working in the lab.

Read the article here.

Ottawa’s Newstalk Radio 580CFRA with Evan Solomon

CEO Christine Nielsen spoke with Evan Solomon on Ottawa’s Newstalk Radio about COVID-19 testing and the lab’s role in providing answers to Canadians. Solomon took the time to thank our members, the lab professionals behind the COVID-19 testing, working hard across the country for the health of all Canadians.

Listen to the interview here.

COVID-19 Testing Capacity on the Mike Farwell Show

On March 25, CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen spoke with Mike Farwell on 570 News regarding the medical laboratory’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. She explained a few of the challenges around COVID-19 testing capacity and how lab professionals are adapting to increased testing demand.

Listen to the interview below.

Ontario Medical Laboratories Adapting to COVID-19 Testing Demands

CSMLS CEO Christine Nielsen spoke to CityNews Toronto about medical laboratory professionals’ important role in the pandemic and the COVID-19 testing surge.

Watch the interview here.


Indigenous Land Acknowledgement : We respectfully acknowledge the CSMLS office, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is situated upon the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississauga Nation, Anishinaabe Peoples, and the Neutral Peoples. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum, which is a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


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