#Ontario; #NursingHomes; #Covid19Outbreak; #NursingHomesDeaths
Ottawa, Jun 16 (Canadian-Media): Legal action is being taken by the families of seniors who died in nursing homes due to coronavirus and are demanding accountability, media reports said.
Long term care home. Image credit: Wikipedia
One of the long term care facilities, Toronto’s Extendicare Guildwood (TEG), has reported that to date the that vast majority of the 159 residents have been infected and nearly 50 have died from the coronavirus.
At a recent protest outside the facility, members of devastated families circled quietly, many carrying photographs of their dead loved ones and said they want answers and accountability that is long overdue.
These protestors are urging changes in the Long term care to make seniors visible and not hidden.
Some said that they had witnessed their loved ones being deprived of water and other basic necessities.
Others said that in spite of several calls at the long term facilities, there was no reply. The phone just went of ringing, they said.
Challenges about staffing being faced was also acknowledged by TEG.
TEG added this issue had been since addressed by hiring dozens of new staff.
During the provincial inspection before the outbreak of the pandemic that the home was dangerously short-staffed.
TEG has been in lockdown since mid-March, and had reported an outbreak of COVID-19 on April 23.
TEG gave its condolences to those who've lost loved ones but said it does not speak publicly about specific residents.
TEG said it also managed to get support from hospital partners to improve its infection control, including deep-cleaning the facility and cohorting all residents.
TEG also said that until the stabilization of the outbreak, it is handing over the day- to-day management of the facility to the Scarborough Health network, a local health agency.
#Ontario; #EaseRestrictionsOnWedding&Funerals; #Covid19; #PhysicalDistancing
Ottawa, Jun 13 (Canadian-Media): The Ontario government is easing the restrictions on the number of attendees permitted at indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies, considering the importance of being with family and loved ones during the moments that matter most, media reports said.
Ontario government. Image credit: Twitter handle
Following positive public health trends the government is extending the number of people allowed to attend an indoor wedding or funeral ceremony to a maximum of 30 percent capacity of the ceremony venue.
A limit of persons would be allowed in outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies.
Attendees to both indoor and outdoor ceremonies would be required to follow proper health and safety advice, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.
"With recent progress to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are able to ease restrictions on these special ceremonies," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "We have taken deliberate steps to increase testing and increase our ability to track and contain this virus. As we loosen these measures, I strongly urge everyone to remain careful and cautious as we are all still at risk."
Christine Elliot. Image credit: Twitter handle
These changes effective June 12 at 12:01 a.m.
The maximum number of 10 people would be allowed to attend indoor or outdoor wedding and funeral receptions.
Further updates and direction will be provided on capacity restrictions for weddings and funerals going forward with the changing circumstances due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
#Ontario; #LongTermCareHomes; #SafetyUpgrades; #Covid19Outbreak; #OLTCA
Ottawa, Jun 10 (Canadian-Media): Non-compliance to safety upgrades in the buildings of Ontario's long-term-care homes in the past two decades have made them more vulnerable to the deadly spread of COVID-19, media reports said.
OLTCA. Image credit: Twitter handle
Almost half of Ontario's long-term care homes have suffered outbreaks since the pandemic started earlier this year.
Data analyzed by Marketplace shows the structure of the buildings was a major contributing factor.
The structural safety standards for Ontario were changed back in 1998, which mandated among other things, that no more than 2 residents should be allowed in nursing home bedrooms.
Vast majority of homes that were not upgraded are run by for-profit companies and have experienced deadly outcome due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
While non-profit and for-profit homes have been equally likely to experience outbreaks, those outbreaks have proven deadlier in for-profit homes.
These buildings with four-person shared wards and communal dining rooms where hundreds of people are brought together for meals make infection control much more difficult, said the experts.
Long-term care homes in Ontario were given 15-year licences in 2010, based on the structural standards they had at the time.
However, 80 percent of the Long term care homes with four-person shared wards still being are run by for-profit homes, meaning almost half of the beds in for-profit facilities are still at the 1972 standard or below.
A commission called by the provincial government to look into Ontario's long-term care system to understand the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak is scheduled to begin in July.
There are currently 686 older long-term care beds in the construction phase of redevelopment, said the Ministry, and an additional 11,727 at various stages of planning for redevelopment.
The Ministry has been continuously receiving applications to redevelop older beds
In the meantime, the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) says, it is asking the ministry for immediate support to make emergency renovations to older buildings to make them "better suited to the level of infection control required for a pandemic."
The changes under consideration include removing carpeting, creating larger spaces for physical distancing in common areas, and converting three- and four-bed rooms to one- and two-bed rooms only.
#Ontario; #HealthDataPlatfor; #PANTHR; #COVID19; #RapidResearchFund
Ottawa, Jun 6 (Canadian-Media): The Ontario government has appointed Dr. Jane Philpott as the special advisor to support the design and implementation of the new Ontario Health Data Platform (formerly known as PANTHR).
Dr. Jane Philpott. Image credit: Facebook page
This data platform will provide recognized researchers and health system partners with access to anonymized health data that will allow them to better detect, plan, and respond to COVID-19. As well, this platform will support projects from the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
"Dr. Philpott has extensive leadership experience in the health care system and her advice will be invaluable as we finalize the creation of the Ontario Health Data Platform," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "This data platform will provide our world-class researchers and health system partners with secure access to better and more consistent population data, improving decision-making in health care and aiding our efforts to beat COVID-19."
The Ontario Health Data Platform is being developed in consultation with the Ontario Privacy Commissioner. The information gathered will help break down long-standing barriers and allow researchers to help with: Increasing detection of COVID-19;Discovering risk factors for vulnerable populations; Predicting when and where outbreaks may happen; Evaluating how preventative and treatment measures are working; and Identifying where to allocate equipment and other resources.
As special advisor, Dr. Philpott will also chair the Joint Ministers' Roundtable and provide recommendations to the Minister of Health and the President of the Treasury Board. The members of the Joint Ministers' Roundtable include public health, research, privacy and clinical experts. Together, they will provide strong proactive leadership to ensure data is used in a privacy-protected way. The roundtable will participate in a consultation forum that will inform the development of the platform.
"Whether on the frontlines of health care or as a medical educator or in this new role as special advisor, I'm honoured to be part of Ontario's fight against COVID-19," said Dr. Philpott. "This integrated data platform is an essential element in the province's response to the pandemic. I look forward to watching how it will facilitate a broad range of health research and support quality improvements in clinical care."
#Ottawa, #Canada; HealthCanada; #WorldNoTobaccoDay; #SUAP; #WHO
Ottawa, June 1 (Canadian-Media): Funding of $4.8 million was announced May 31 by Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health to mark World No Tobacco Day for organizations across Canada to develop programs and services to help stop tobacco use among Canadians, and reduce youth vaping, media reports said.
Patty Hajdu. Image credit: Facebook page
These grants and contributions funding are being provided by Health Canada through the Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), is a federal grants and contributions program that provides financial support to provinces, territories, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous organizations, key stakeholders and individuals to strengthen responses to drug and substance use issues in Canada.
While supporting evidence-informed and innovative initiatives across a range of interventions SUAP supports health promotion, prevention, harm reduction and treatment—targeting a broad range of legal and illegal substances.
These investments contribute to the Government of Canada's efforts to protect Canadians from the harms of smoking and nicotine addiction.
Led by the World Health Organization, World No Tobacco Day takes place May 31 and aims to raise awareness on the deadly dangers of tobacco use and to highlight the government initiatives in protecting youth from the harms of tobacco and vaping products.
Services and supports are available to help Canadians quit smoking though trained specialists with the pan-Canadian toll-free quit line to help individuals develop a quit-smoking plan, answer questions and provide referrals to programs and services in communities across Canada, including information on how to access quit-smoking medications that can help with the potential withdrawal symptoms.
The projects funded by Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program include Association for Action on Smoking and Health which will receive $790,000 over 36 months; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) would be granted more than $670,000 over 21 months; Lung Health Foundation would get more than $960,000 over 39 months; Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada would be granted more than $1 million over 48 months; Students Commission of Canada to get more than $270,000 over 36 months; and University of Waterloo will get more than $1.1 million over 36 months.