Following the news of nine Covid-19 related deaths at a nursing home in Bobcaygeon, where 34 staff have also now showed signs of coronavirus, Ontario Premier Doug Ford took to the podium Monday to announce more funding for nursing homes and long term care facilities.
The news from Bobcaygeon had not yet been disclosed publicly by Ontario Health Officials, but instead was revealed in the Globe and Mail. Minister of Long-Term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton said the government is doing everything in their power to care for and support Ontario’s most vulnerable population. “I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to assist and care for Ontario’s seniors, especially those in long-term care, during this unprecedented time,” said Fullerton.
“We take seriously the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and we’re working to put an iron ring of protection around our seniors from COVID-19,” said Premier Ford.
Earlier, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urged those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home.
Read More: Seniors over 70 urged to stay home
Ford announced an additional $10 million in funding to help seniors homes and long term care facilities coordinate subsidized deliveries of meals and medicines. The provincial government is also working with grocers and pharmacists to prioritize seniors’ delivery orders, along an provincewide senior-only shopping time.
Ford again pleaded with the public to practice physical distancing, “It was sunny and 20 degrees this weekend and the streets were packed, and that’s unacceptable,” said Ford.
Ford also says he will be extending the state of emergency in the province for the next two weeks. It was first issued on March 17.
The news conference Monday comes as Ontario reports its highest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases. As of Monday morning, there were 351 new Covid-19 cases, with 1,706 total cases in the province.