Military arrives at Etobicoke long-term care residence following 38 COVID-19 deaths
TORONTO -- Members of the Canadian military arrived at the Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke Monday afternoon, one of five long-term care facilities where the province has deployed members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
It’s a welcome sight for family members who have been sitting anxiously outside the facility to show support to their loved ones inside.
“The blessing with the military is it gives the PSWs (Personal Support Workers) more time to pay attention to the actual residents and those trying to do two, three or four jobs at one time,” Bill Bennett said speaking to CTV News Toronto. Bennett’s 83 year-old mother tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago and is a resident at Eatonville.
“This place was extremely understaffed to the point it was absolutely unfair to the staff trying to look after our loved ones.”
There are now 38 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus at the facility, and another 143 residents and 88 staff members have tested positive since the outbreak began.
The military says they are still assessing the situation at each long-term care home, which will help inform the eventual deployment of medical and support personnel.
“We look forward to welcoming the Canadian Armed Forces to our team in the coming days as this support will greatly benefit our team who have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks,” Eatonville said in a statement.
In the meantime, the facility says residents are being kept isolated in their rooms and that both residents and staff are screened for symptoms twice a day.
Angelica Tucaya is a personal support worker who just recently started at Eatonville. Tucaya told CTV News Toronto that PSWs are often working double shifts and welcome any support the military can provide.
“Usually for one floor we would have six or seven PSWs, but on my first day we had only three,” Tucaya said. “You have to rush doing things from one patient to another.”
Bennett says his mother’s condition is improving, but worries the support from the military may be too late.
“When you see inside the home there is no way to self -isolate, there is no guarantee you won’t catch it a second time.”
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are also being deployed to Altamont Care Community in Scarborough, Hawthorne Place in North York, Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton and Orchard Villia in Pickering.