Toronto receives millions of surgical masks for long-term care homes, shelters
Island Health is issuing a mandatory mask-up policy for anyone visiting a facility who does not have a flu shot: (Island Health/Facebook)
TORONTO -- The City of Toronto has received a shipment of three million surgical masks that will be mostly distributed to long-term care homes and shelters.
The personal protective equipment shipment comes two weeks after the city received tens of thousands of defective surgical masks that were reportedly “ripping and tearing.”
The city said the new level two masks have passed inspection and are fine. Prior to receiving the shipment, the city said it had enough surgical masks for 52 days at current consumption.
“This new inventory adds approximately 127 days of stock at current consumption and would provide 60 additional days of protection in the worst-case scenario,” the city said in a news release issued on Tuesday.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the shipment is an important step in providing support to struggling long-term care homes, which are disproportionately affected by the health crisis.
“This new order of thee million surgical masks will greatly help the people on the frontlines of the fight in our city's long-term care homes and shelters,” Tory said. “We are working non-stop to secure PPE for the employees who need it.”
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said on Monday that while the city is currently in the peak period for reported COVID-19 cases, higher-rates of COVID-19 infection are expected to continue in long-term care homes.
As of Monday, the city reported that 181 people have died from the disease in Toronto. De Villa said the majority of deaths in the city are driven largely by patients in long-term care homes.
The city said the most recent shipment of masks were ordered from Canadian distributor AMG Medical Inc. in late March, and “arrived in two shipments with the final shipment of two million masks delivered to the city earlier today.”