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Ornge/Provincial Transfer Authorization Centre (PTAC) nCoV Update

January 28, 2020

28 January, 2020



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A new (novel) type of coronavirus was identified January 7, 2020 by Chinese authorities. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Emergency Health Services are monitoring this evolving situation in order to keep all health care workers and responders safe and healthy.
The Provincial Transfer Authorization Centre (PTAC) is administered and maintained by Ornge. This database has a number of important functions. First, it enables Ornge to oversee all inter-facility transports across Ontario, and to have visibility into all provincial patient movements. In addition, PTAC provides an invaluable service in the event of an infectious disease outbreak or pandemic. The PTAC patient transfer authorization portal offers an online tool which can be used to screen for respiratory diseases. This tool can be activated when required.
In close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and CritiCall Ontario, the PTAC screening questions are being activated today and adjusted to reflect the current outbreak situation. This process will provide another layer of safety to our health care system by alerting transport providers and receiving facilities about potential high risk patients. As well, activing PTAC screening questions will allow the Ministry of Health to track high risk patients for nCoV in the patient transport process.
Staff responsible for authorizing transfers through PTAC will notice some process changes. As before, sending facility staff will be required to obtain a Medical Transfer (MT) number through the online portal. While inputting patient information, they will be asked a series of infectious disease screening questions. In the event a patient is flagged:

  • An MT number will not be issued automatically;
  • The sending facility shall contact the Ornge Operations Control Centre (OCC) to process the generation of an MT number manually.
Ornge will be monitoring the information and maintaining close contact with the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Health, CritiCall Ontario and Public Health Ontario.
If you have any questions about the new procedures, please feel free to contact Dr. Bruce Sawadsky, Chief Medical Officer – Acting, at


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