Canadian Armed Forces leaves final Ontario long-term care home
A member of the Canadian Armed Forces is shown at Residence Villa Val des Arbres a long-term care home in Laval, Que., Sunday, April 19, 2020, as COVID-19 cases rise in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
TORONTO -- Members of Canada’s military will be saying their final goodbyes to seven Ontario long-term care homes where they have been deployed for the last two months.
In a news release issued Friday, the Ontario government said that “the final team concluded its work today” and thanked the military for providing support to long-term care homes struggling during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"We owe our brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces, and the military families who support them, a debt of gratitude for their service to our province during this crisis," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement.
"From providing relief to our frontline workers, to taking care of our loved ones in long-term care homes, they have been there for their fellow Canadians when we needed them most.”
The military was deployed to five long-term care homes at the end of April as they grappled with severe COVID-19 outbreaks.
The homes included Orchard Villa in Pickering, Altamount Care Community in Scarborough, Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke, Hawthorne Place in North York and Holland Christian Homes' Grace Manor in Brampton.
The military was also later sent to Downsview Long-Term Care Home in Toronto and Woodridge Vista Care Community in Vaughan.
The results of the deployment to the first five homes were outlined in a damning report released by the Canadian Armed Forces on May 26. In the report, the military claimed there were major staffing shortages and a lack of personal protective equipment.
They also made much more serious allegations, including that there were bug infestations, old food trays stacked inside resident rooms and that patients were observed “crying for help with staff not responding.”
According to the provincial government, the ministry of long-term care has been addressing these issues and has taken action to improve the quality of care and infection control at each facility.
This is what the government says they have done:
- Each long-term care home has either been inspected or has an inspection underway. Some inspectors have remained onsite to assess the situation.
- Temporary management has been appointed at the following facilities: Altamont Care Community, Camilla Care Community, Orchard Villa, Extendicare Guildwood, River Glen Haven, Downsview Long Term Care, Woodbridge Vista Care Community, Forest Heights and Hawthorne Place Care Centre.
- Each home has been asked to submit a plan to the ministry detailing how they will improve care standards.
As of Friday, 44 long-term care homes are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, while 269 have had their outbreaks resolved.