The province has released its plan to contain COVID-19 in long-term care homes. It includes plans for long term care homes ( without an outbreak) to be equipped to deal with an outbreak, should it happen. Premier Doug Ford says the province is “throwing everything” at long term care homes with increased screening, testing and surveillance. Ford says Covid-19 “swat teams” from hospitals will be sent to nursing homes with outbreaks.
As of Wednesday, 144 people have died in long term care homes
All symptomatic staff and patients as well as asymptomatic contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients will be tested. Asymptomatic patients in “select homes” will also be tested. Ford says the new measures will help stop Covid-19 from “spreading like wildfire” at Ontario’s long-term care homes and facilities. The measures also ensure that workers can only work at one LTC home at a time.
There’s been roughly 100 reported outbreaks at the province’s long-term care facilities since the outbreak began. To date, 144 people have died in long term care homes from the virus. Close to half of all Covid-19 related deaths in Canada have been residents of long-term care homes.
The CBC reported that Ontario scaled back comprehensive, annual inspections of nursing homes to only a handful last year. The Ford government says they moved to a “risk-based” assessment model last year.
Testing still falls short of daily target
Just last week Ford declared Ontario’s rate of testing ‘unacceptable’ and called for 13,000 tests a day. Monday, Ford said he wanted to see 8,000 tests a day by Wednesday. As Ontario reported 494 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, it also revealed they fell short of that daily target. The province completed just over 6,000 tests since their last update.
There are 4,429 people still awaiting test results, which is double the amount from Tuesday. The Ministry of Health attributes that to expanded testing criteria which they say is increasing the number of tests being submitted.
More to come…