Ontario calls in military as virus spreads like “wildfire” at its long-term care homes

While Monday’s updated provincial modelling projections were ‘somewhat’ positive, Premier Doug Ford says Ontario is “in the thick of a raging battle” against Covid-19 in the province’s 626 long term care homes. Ford says the province is formally requesting extra resources from the federal government, including Canadian Forces personnel.

“When you are in a fight like this, you leave nothing on the table,” said Ford during his media briefing Wednesday. To date, there have been at least 448 deaths in long-term care amid outbreaks at 127 facilities. That accounts for an increase of 49 deaths since the previous day.

The premier says Canadian Armed Forces personnel will be deployed to 5 provincial LTC homes. Officials did not say which homes, just that military personnel will be deployed where needed, including at homes in Toronto.


Monday's updated COVID-19 modelling showed Ontario is a "tale of two heads" said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. While the projections were somewhat upbeat, Ford said Ontario is "in the thick of a raging battle" against Covid-19 in provincial long term care homes.
Ontario’s long-term care homes have now recorded 400 deaths due to a COVID-19 outbreak. That includes 399 resident deaths and one LTC employee death.

Looking back, Premier Ford says the government thought it would hit hospitals harder than long-term care homes. Ford says the federal help requested will provide operational and logistical assistance so long-term care staff can “focus on the care of residents.”

Wednesday, staff members at two Barrie long-term care homes tested positive for the virus. Health officials are testing residents and staff at both homes.

Wednesday, staff members at two Barrie long-term care homes tested positive for the virus. Health officials are testing residents and staff at both homes.
Wednesday, staff members at two Barrie long-term care homes tested positive for the virus. Health officials are testing residents and staff at both homes.

Ontario to test every resident in the province’s 626 nursing homes

As Ontario’s long-term care homes grapple with the deadly virus, the province has now mandated that every single resident be tested. The new measure from health officials also says that “more staff” will be tested, taking last week’s announcement – that every resident with symptoms be tested – even further.

Ford says he was “beating the drum” weeks ago about increased testing, but says he can’t “overturn what the chief medical officer of health” says.

To date, Ontario reported 11,500 tests of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in long-term care homes, with 9% of residents and staff reportedly tested. The province says there have been 12,245 confirmed COVID-19 cases in total, 510 new cases reported Wednesday.

Province not reopening anytime soon

Premier Ford says he didn’t say this morning (on radio) that he will open the economy up May 24 weekend.

MORE TO COME…