Long-term care commission to interview Ontario's top doctor, health and long-term care ministers next week
Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, looks on during the daily COVID-19 press briefing at Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Russell - POOL
TORONTO -- The province's top public health officials will appear next week before an independent commission investigating how and why COVID-19 spread in long-term care homes in Ontario.
The Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission will interview Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, on Monday and Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Helen Angus, the deputy minister of health, on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Long-Term Care, Merrilee Fullerton, and Deputy Minister of Long-Term Care Richard Steele will be interviewed on Friday as part of the commission's investigation.
The commission was launched in July 2020 to probe the province's handling of the COVID-19 crisis at long-term care facilities and provide guidance on how to better protect residents and staff from future outbreaks.
The three-person commission has since interviewed government officials, local medical officers of health, doctors, long-term care company executives, advocacy groups and families of nursing home residents.
It also released interim recommendations to help the province fight the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes during the second wave.
To date, more than 3,800 long-term care residents have died after contracting the disease.
Earlier this year, the commission asked the province to extend the deadline for the final report to Dec. 31 as they required "additional information about the measures taken to prevent, isolate and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the province’s long-term care homes before and through the second wave" to fulfill their mandate.
However, the province denied the request and the commission is expected to submit the report on April 30.