Days after calls for government intervention, the province has appointed a hospital to take over operations at a Woodbridge long-term care home struggling to contain an outbreak of COVID-19.
Last weekend, 18 patients infected with COVID-19 at Woodbridge Vista Community Care were transferred to hospitals after management said their care needs “exceeded” what could be provided at the home.
More than 100 patients at the 244-bed facility, including the 18 who were transferred to hospitals, have tested positive for COVID-19 to date and at least 17 patients have died.
Additionally, 37 staff members have also tested positive for the virus.
“Despite receiving hospital support, Woodbridge Vista Care Community has been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the province said in a news release issued Thursday.
William Osler Health System has now been appointed as the interim manager of the home.
The decision to take control of the home came just days after SEIU Healthcare, which represents tens of thousands of health care workers across the country, said members had reported “serious concerns” about the facility and had “lost confidence” in management’s ability to handle the crisis.
“We’ve called on you in recent weeks to use your authority—whether in the Long-Term Care Homes Act or the new emergency tools you gave yourself—and take over administrative and operational control of nursing homes where necessary,” the union said in a statement released on Sunday.
“It is necessary you exercise that authority now and immediately intervene at Sienna’s Woodbridge Vista Care Community. Action is required for the health and safety of everyone at this nursing home.”
Speaking to CP24 on Sunday, Joanne Dykeman, the executive vice-president of operations at Sienna Senior Living, the home’s operator, said managing the pandemic has been very difficult for the facility.
“We work on a daily basis to manage the outbreak. We work with public health partners, the clinicians and physicians, and we make a determination based on staffing and the care needs of the residents," she said.
The province has taken control of several long-term care homes in Ontario following the release of a damning military report that outlined disturbing conditions at five Ontario facilities.