The province is extending the mandate of the Incident Management System Long-Term Care Table (IMS). That group was set up in April and is comprised of medical professionals that make decisions on issues facing long-term care homes around staffing levels, infection management, and resources including access to personal protective equipment.
Premier Doug Ford says since the IMS was established the number of COVID-19 positive tests in long-term care homes has decreased from 12.5-percent to 7.5-percent and has reduced the number of outbreaks from a high of 190 to 129 as of May 28th.
“As Premier, it’s my job to push the system. Fixing what we inherited starts with strong leadership through this crisis and beyond to protect and care for our long-term care residents,” said Ford. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that we are making progress in fighting this terrible virus in our long-term care homes and we will continue to do everything in our power to fortify the iron ring of protection around our most vulnerable seniors.”
Ford says there are three areas the province will focus on; the immediate need to clean up homes and prevent the spread of COVID-19, what needs to be done for the next three months, and what is the long-term plan to care for seniors going forward.
Ford also says he is not going to move to a regional approach to reopening the province. He says he understands there are areas that have very few new active cases of COVID-19 and that frustration is mounting to allow those regions to reopen sooner, “I have said from Day One I will follow the advice of the medical professionals and if Dr. Williams says it isn’t a good idea then I will take his advice.”
He says he needs to protect the entire province and because the large majority of cases are in the GTHA he says that creates a risk in central Ontario, “On long weekends there could be a half-million people going to cottages in the Muskoka’s, the Haliburton’s and they are predominantly from the 905 and 416 and we have to be careful.”