Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario facing criticism over long-term care approach as outbreaks continue

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: 267 New Cases In Manitoba Today
Coronavirus Canada Updates: 267 New Cases In Manitoba Today

They were hard hit in the first wave and the second wave is again taking its toll on long-term care and retirement homes.

There’s mounting criticism that the province isn’t doing enough to protect staff and residents at these homes as the number of outbreaks across Ontario continue to grow.

The Southwestern Public Health Unit reported that there had been 90 cases and four deaths at Maple Manor Nursing Home in Tillsonburg.

In a news release, the public health unit said the outbreak includes 35 staff members and 55 residents. An outbreak was first declared there on Dec. 12.

That outbreak carries on as Region of Waterloo Public Health deals with its own long-term care outbreaks, including one at Cambridge Country Manor long-term care home.

There have been 60 COVID-19 cases in residents and 66 in staff members. Thirteen people have died.

Across the province, more than a third of the province’s long-term care homes are battling COVID-19 outbreaks, the Ontario government’s website shows. The province’s long-term care association says that more needs to be done.

“Quite honestly the most important thing we can be doing right now is vaccinating our residents, our staff and our essential caregivers,” said Donna Duncan with the Ontario Long-Term Care Association.

“We’ve prioritized testing, we’re doing mandatory weekly testing, we’ve got the personal protective equipment. We need to make sure that our staff are safe because our residents will only be safe if we have the staff to serve them.”

The association said that there has been some progress, as each home has been paired up with a hospital and SWAT teams with extra resources are going in to help.

Ontario hopes to vaccinate all long-term care residents and staff in four COVID-19 hot spots by Jan. 21.

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