School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Ontario long-term care plan raises concerns about loopholes, staff wages amid COVID-19 pandemic

April 15, 2019
The Globe and Mail - Laura Stone, Karen Howlett and Tu Thanh Ha, with comments by David Walker, Professor School of Policy Studies, Queen's University

Ontario will temporarily ban employees from working in more than one long-term care facility, but concerns are being raised about loopholes that could cause COVID-19 to continue to spread among seniors.

Details of the province’s new emergency order to limit workers to one seniors’ home were released Wednesday as part of Premier Doug Ford’s “action plan" intended to limit the transmission of the novel coronavirus in long-term care facilities.

Mr. Ford said the province is also putting together COVID-19 “SWAT teams” with staff from hospitals, home-care and public-health units to help homes handle outbreaks.

“This is an enhancement of what we have already done, and we’ve done quite a bit," the Premier said.

As of Wednesday, almost 19 per cent of long-term care homes in Ontario have declared an outbreak, which happens when there is at least one case, according to government officials. In all, 144 residents have died and another 834 have tested positive for the disease.

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