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‘What is the plan?’: Ottawa long-term care outbreak raises fears about readiness for next wave of COVID-19

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

After weeks of relative calm, a new, large COVID-19 outbreak at an Ottawa long-term care home is raising fears that not enough has been done to prevent a second deadly wave in long-term care across Ontario. As of this week, at least 27 residents of Extendicare West End Villa and three staff members had tested positive for COVID-19, making it the largest current outbreak in the province and the only one with more than five active cases. Extendicare says it does not know for certain how the outbreak started, but it is a reminder how quickly COVID-19 can spread, especially among vulnerable long-term care residents, once it gets inside a home. Because it is the first significant outbreak in an Ontario long-term care home since the first wave of COVID-19 killed more than 1,800 long-term care residents and infected thousands more, it is the focus of attention from the province and Ottawa Public Health, which has been in daily contact with the home.

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Last Covid-positive resident at Peter D. Clark long-term care home dies

Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen

The last COVID-19 positive resident at the Peter D. Clark long-term care centre has died. The Peter D. Clark facility is one of four city-run homes and one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. So far, eight residents and one staff member have died.

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Long-term care: Stop the finger pointing and plan for the second Covid-19 wave

Editorial Board, The Ottawa Citizen

This week, the Canadian Institute for Health Information released a report noting that, as of late May, 81 per cent of COVID-19-related deaths in Canada had been recorded in long-term care facilities. This compared poorly to the OECD average of 42 per cent. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford wasted no time blaming each other. Canada’s premiers, said Trudeau, had dropped the ball: “It is they who failed to protect our seniors well during this pandemic.” Retorted Ford: “Put your money where your mouth is … Help us out, we can’t do this alone.”

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New analysis paints international picture of COVID-19 long-term care impacts Study released by the Canadian Institute of Health Information

CBC News

A new analysis released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that while Canada’s COVID-19 death rate is relatively low compared to other OECD countries, the proportion of deaths occurring in long-term care (LTC) is double the OECD average. As of May 25, at the country level, LTC residents accounted for 81% of all reported COVID-19 deaths in Canada, compared with an average of 42% in 16 other OECD countries (ranging from less than 10% in Slovenia and Hungary to 66% in Spain). This analysis examines Canada’s pandemic experience in LTC and that of other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), focusing on 3 areas: cases and deaths, baseline health system characteristics and policy responses.

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For a Snapshot PDF of the study’s findings, go to:

Video captures residents wandering into woman’s room at Ottawa long-term care home hit hard by COVID-19

Judy Trinh, CBC News, The Fifth Estate

A camera installed by a woman concerned about her mother’s health inside an Ottawa long-term care home overwhelmed by COVID-19 shows several residents wandering into a private room at the height of the outbreak. The footage shared with The Fifth Estate shows lapses in infection control and provides a glimpse into how Madonna Care Community, one of the hardest-hit nursing homes in Ontario, responded to the crisis. Madonna Care has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the capital. Ninety-seven of the home’s 160 residents contracted COVID-19. Nearly half of them died.

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