Two patients have died from COVID-19 complications in Ontario long-term care homes.
“I am deeply saddened to report to Ontarians that there have been two deaths related to COVID-19 in our province’s long-term care system,” Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care said in a statement on Tuesday.
On Monday, March 23, a woman in her 90s passed away after testing positive for coronavirus and was taken to Lakeridge Health in Oshawa, where she was a resident at Hillsdale Terraces long-term care home.
And on the morning of Tuesday, March 24, an 80-year-old woman passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, where she had been in isolation since being admitted to the hospital on March 16.
A statement from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s President, Melissa Farrell following Hamilton’s first death related to COVID-19. On behalf of all of St. Joe’s, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to this patient’s family & loved ones. https://t.co/yuvkTGIT8Q pic.twitter.com/Q5yYYAA7lN
— St. Joe’s Hamilton (@STJOESHAMILTON) March 24, 2020
She was a resident of Heritage Green Nursing Home in Stoney Creek.
“I offer my condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of these individuals, and to their long-term care communities. My thoughts are with you at this devastating time,” Fullerton said.
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On Sunday, the Province of Ontario passed enhanced measures to protect the safety of residents in long-term care homes, one of the most vulnerable groups to be affected by the virus.
Some of the measures include increasing bed availability, ensure homes are able to provide isolation rooms, and making sure sufficient nursing and personal support care staff are available.
The province also announced that as of March 24, homes have the flexibility to deploy staff when and where they are needed — which can now be provided since the province declared a state of emergency.
“Ontario is implementing critical and necessary measures to ensure that we are able to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians, in particular our seniors,” Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health said.
“We have been working for several months now, with all our partners across the system, from public health to hospitals and long-term care operators, to put processes in place to contain this virus and be ready to respond to any scenario.”
As of March 24, there are 572 confirmed cases in the province with eight recovered and eight deceased.