Ontario has passed a new law extending the state of emergency from COVID-19, for another four weeks. Premier Doug Ford says his government is taking other actions, as well.
The bill was passed duing an emergency session of the Ontario legislature. Ford says it’s in response to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 in the province, calling it the greatest threat Ontario has seen in decades. He says everyone knows the crisis is far from over.
Earlier this week, Canada’s chief public health officer said nearly half of the COVID-19 deaths across the country have been linked to long-term care homes. Ford compared the spread of the coronavirus through those seniors homes to that of a wildfire
"We will launch an enhanced action plan to fight COVID-19 in long-term care homes," Ford announced. "our plan will include more support and more resources. We’ll spare no expense to protect our most vulnerable. It is absolutely critical.”
Ford says Ontario hospitals have not seen the surge of COVID-19 patients that was expected, so resources from the health care system, including hospital-based care teams, will be redeployed to help long-term care homes. He said he also wants to see specialized teams in those homes when there is a serious outbreak.
Employees who work at the homes, will be restricted to employment at only one home. Ford says his government has allocated $243 million to help the homes with staffing, testing and operational needs.