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Health Reporting 102: Covering COVID in the second wave


***There are spots available for CAJ members to join the Zoom call and participate in this event. Register here for the link. ***

In the past year, every journalist has become a health reporter. We all quickly learned our new COVID-19 beat, reporting on daily case numbers, public health measures, and the devastating toll this pandemic has taken on all Canadians.

Now, with vaccinations rolling out, the end is in sight — but as the new year has started we’ve also seen rising infection numbers and stricter new restrictions from provincial and territorial governments.

Join Ottawa Citizen health reporter Elizabeth Payne and get her expert guidance and tips for reporting on the pandemic in the year to come, in a context that has changed since 2020.

She is immersed in leading coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, from a local, provincial and national perspective.

Her first story on the coming global pandemic was published in the Citizen on Jan. 7, 2020, before most people knew what was coming, and looked at the potential threat to the health-care system from the then-identified virus seen in Wuhan, China.

Since then, she has written more than 200 stories about the impact of the pandemic, including many looking at the impact on vulnerable long-term care residents — an area that has been a focus of her coverage for years.

Elizabeth Payne is a veteran journalist who has won awards for her reporting on subjects ranging from the return of midwives to remote Inuit communities and the success of the Canadian-developed Ebola vaccine.

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