As previously communicated, IQMH has been operating as a virtual office since the physical office was closed in mid-March. We are now planning to gradually re-open with a very limited number of staff present on-site commencing on July 13, 2020 or thereabouts. However, the vast majority of IQMH staff will continue to work from home during this early phase. Please continue to use the following email contact information until further notice:
Proficiency Testing: firstname.lastname@example.org
IQMH follows Public Health advice and will continue to maintain the following precautions to mitigate the risk of potential spread of COVID-19 until further notice:
- Events and Meetings
All events and meetings, including Scientific Committee and Advisory Panel meetings, will continue to be conducted remotely using phone or video conferencing and/or online communications.
- Accreditation Visits
All on-site accreditation visits scheduled up to the end of June 2020 are cancelled and will be rescheduled for later in the year. If circumstances permit, we are planning to resume limited on-site accreditation activities of willing laboratories commencing in July. Further cancellations may still be necessary and will be communicated as decisions are made considering the prevailing circumstances.
- Education Courses
All in-person education courses, whether on site or off site, remain cancelled. Limited online classes may be made available in the future.
- Proficiency Testing (PT) Surveys
Currently all PT surveys continue, largely as scheduled. An initial PT challenge was sent to the first cohort of Ontario laboratories licensed to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing, in collaboration with Public Health Ontario laboratories. A new molecular program using commercially available material has now been developed and will be implemented shortly along with a newly developed PT program for those laboratories licensed to perform serological testing. Details will be communicated as soon as more information becomes available.
With these precautionary measures and business contingency plans in place, please be assured that IQMH is doing all that we can to continue delivering services in a safe manner consistent with the latest Public Health advice and guidance.
Jeffrey S. Sumner