Event Details

PHO Rounds: COVID-19 in Pregnancy in Ontario: Findings from the First Year

The Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN) Ontario began surveillance of COVID-19-infected pregnant individuals in Ontario beginning March 1, 2020 to respond to the urgent public health crisis. There are two mechanisms for BORN to ascertain cases through: the public health system that keeps a record of everyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, and tests positive for the virus, and Case Reports from hospitals and midwifery practice groups across the province. These two data sources are linked with the BORN Information System data to provide more in-depth information on pregnancy and birth outcomes. 

As of March 2021, BORN has received 1,391 notifications of positive cases from public health and 500 Case Report Forms from Ontario hospitals. 

The surveillance data has enabled BORN to provide credible information to facilitate and improve care, and to help guide decision making provincially and nationally. BORN is now gearing up for vaccine surveillance for the pregnant population.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the data collected by BORN Ontario to assist with COVID-19 surveillance in the pregnant and breastfeeding population
  2. Discuss the emerging evidence on SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant individuals and newborns in Ontario, Canada, and internationally
  3. Summarize BORN Ontario’s plans for COVID-19 vaccine surveillance in the Ontario pregnant population

Presenter(s): Dr. Deshayne Fell, Dr. Gillian Alton, Dr. Ann Sprague

Dr. Deshayne Fell is an Associate Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa and Scientist with the CHEO Research Institute.  She has published extensively on vaccine use and safety of vaccines in pregnancy. She is a member of the CAN-COVID Preg surveillance team.

Dr. Gillian Alton is an epidemiologist with the Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN) Ontario. Gillian is a co-investigator working on COVID-19 in pregnancy surveillance and research in Ontario, and is part of the CAN-COVID-Preg national surveillance team. 

Dr. Ann Sprague is a project advisor with BORN Ontario and has been part of the team tasked with obtaining and using the COVID-19 in pregnancy data to facilitate and improve care. She is also a member of the CAN-COVID Preg national surveillance team.




The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Updated 13 May 2021