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Ontario’s long-term care sector wasn’t ready or equipped for COVID-19
Report issued by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk

CBC News, www.cbc.ca

As of April 28, 3,756 residents and 11 staff members in the province’s LTC system have died. The report on pandemic readiness and response in long-term care, issued by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says that by the time the novel coronavirus started to ravage Ontario’s long-term care institutions in March 2020, it was obvious that aggressive infection prevention, detection and patient care actions were needed – and needed quickly – to prevent staggering death rates in the LTC community. That didn’t happen.    

Read the rest here:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/long-term-care-pandemic-report-1.6005331

Don’t leave family physicians out of the COVID vaccine program

Mohammed Adam, The Ottawa Citizen

One-third of Ontarians remain uncertain about vaccines but would be more likely to get shots if these were administered by their doctors. One of the most perplexing questions about Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is why family doctors have been left out.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/adam-dont-leave-family-physicians-out-of-the-covid-vaccine-program

New standards are being created for LTC homes –
And the public is asked to weigh in

Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen

The process of building nation-wide standards for long-term care homes was launched on Tuesday. In the coming months, a committee of about 20 people ranging from researchers to LTC residents and family members will be recruited. There will be virtual town halls. Anyone who wants to share their views can fill out an online survey which is accessible from a link in the complete article below. 

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/health/new-standards-are-being-created-for-ltc-homes-and-the-public-is-asked-to-weigh-in

It’s still an institution – Advocates urge radical change for LTC homes

Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen

Amid calls to turn Ontario’s for-profit homes into not-for-profits, some are arguing that what the system really needs is to turn its back on the institutional model. Rose Anne Reilly’s mother, Rose, died on New Year’s Day at the age of 104. Born in the middle of the First World War, Rose lived through the Spanish influenza epidemic that began in 1918. She tested positive for COVID-19 in November. Her case was resolved, but she went into a rapid decline, her daughter said. Rose lived in a long-term care home for the last seven years of her life. Rose Anne said she fought to make sure her mother would have a later breakfast, as she preferred. In the last year, during outbreaks, residents were isolated in their rooms, with little social interaction, Rose Anne said. “I think these people were neglected. They were not stimulated. And COVID made it worse,” she said.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/its-still-an-institution-advocates-urge-radical-change-for-ltchttps://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/its-still-an-institution-advocates-urge-radical-change-for-ltc

Advocating for a loved one in an Ontario care home should not be a crime

Joel Harden, NDP MPP, The Ottawa Citizen

Mom is sullen and withdrawn. So you investigate; you talk to care workers and raise concerns to managers. Soon after arrives a letter by registered mail from the home’s management (it arrives by email, too). “This letter is notice that you are no longer permitted at the home,” it reads. “Your presence at the home is disruptive and disrespectful of staff and residents, and it is our obligation to provide a safe environment. If you attempt to enter, the police will be called for a trespass violation.”

Sound familiar? Read the complete article here:
On Thursday, March 4, Joel Harden presented Motion 129 for debate to insist that the use of trespass orders end. The motion is called “Voula’s Law” and you can sign the online petition here:
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