New emergency order allows Ontario to take over management of long-term care homes

Under the emergency order, a hospital or corporation could manage a long-term care facility

Long-term care homes hardest hit by COVID-109 could have the management of the facility taken over by the Ontario government, under a new emergency order.

“We are doing everything we can to fortify the iron ring of protection around our long-term care residents and the heroic frontline staff who care for them,” said Premier Doug Ford. “By taking this step, we will be better prepared to immediately swing into action if a home is struggling to contain this deadly virus.”

The emergency order allows the province to step in if a long-term care home has a high number of infections or deaths, or if it’s facing a staffing shortage.

The province says the manager could be any person, including a corporation or a hospital.

The virus has killed more than 1, 200 long-term care residents in the province, and 180 homes have outbreaks of the virus. As of Tuesday, there were outbreaks at Bradford Valley in Bradford-West Gwillimbury, as well as in Barrie, at Owen Hill Care Community.

Last week, the government asked facilities with outbreaks to come up with a plan to stabilize the virus’s spread within their walls.

The government said decisions regarding when and where to assign additional management support will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been deployed into five long-term care homes to provide support where significant staffing shortages are occurring.