TORONTO -- The Ontario Nurses’ Association says it has won a legal battle that will force four long-term care homes to immediately fix alleged safety issues for health-care workers.

According to court documents, filed by the ONA in mid-April, four Ontario long-term care homes have been allegedly restricting or denying the use of PPE in their facilities.

The homes named in the application include three owned by Rykka Care Centres Group—Eatonville Care Centre in Toronto, where at least 37 residents have died, Anson Place Centre in Haggersville, Ont., where at least 27 deaths have been attributed to the virus, and Hawthorne Place Care Centre in North York, where at least six residents have contracted COVID-19. 

A separate application was filed against Henley Place, operated by Primacare Living Solutions, located in London, Ont.

In the documents, the ONA says that its members have “not been provided with readily available access to N95 respirators when providing care to residents with confirmed, suspected or presumed COVID-19.”

On Thursday, the ONA said they are relieved a ruling, by the Superior Ontario Court, ordered the homes to immediately rectify the safety concerns. 

“It is truly a huge relief to know that after exhausting all other avenues, the Ontario Superior Court has agreed with ONA that these employers must follow health and safety practices to prevent the spread of infection among long-term care residents and the registered nurses and health professionals who care for them,” ONA President Vicki McKenna said in a written statement. 

“ONA is thrilled that our members will have access to the proper protective equipment they need to protect themselves, and therefore their residents, and that the homes’ administrators will be forced to follow infection control practices – and put safety over profit.”

“Now, nurses and health-care professionals will have access to appropriate PPE, residents will be cohorted and proper infection control measures will be brought into these homes.”

“I am optimistic that these measures may soon result in putting out the raging spread of COVID-19 in these homes.”

The ONA represents about 68,000 nurses and health-care professionals across the province.