The Ontario government is investing an additional $276,700 to increase prevention and containment efforts in long-term care homes in Markham during the second wave of COVID-19.
The new funding will reduce the risk of the virus from entering long-term care homes from the community by covering eligible expenses related to: a 24/7 health checkpoint to confirm staff and essential caregivers entering the building are properly screened for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure, and to continue screening residents on an ongoing basis to support early detection and containment of any new infections; additional prevention and containment activities, such as hiring new staff to carry-out the added workload for essential services and/or to replace workers who are sick or in isolation; cleaning, equipment, and operating supplies beyond typical levels for the home; and; implementing infection control measures based on clinical evidence, advice from a physician or other regulated health practitioners with expertise in infection.
Union Villa is receiving an additional $190,700, bringing the total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $921,700. Bethany Lodge is receiving an additional $86,000, bringing the total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $750,200
“We will continue to do everything we can to help stop the spread of this virus and protect our most vulnerable and the staff who have been working tirelessly to keep them safe,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “From the start of the pandemic, we have taken quick and decisive action to make sure that homes have access to the resources they need to care for our loved ones.”
To address long-standing staffing challenges, the government has launched one of the largest recruitment and training drives in the province’s history, to deliver on its commitment to provide an average of four hours of daily direct care for residents. This will make Ontario the Canadian leader in the provision of care. To implement its staffing plan, Ontario is increasing annual investments, culminating in $1.9 billion contributed annually by 2024-25, to create more than 27,000 new positions for personal support workers, registered nurses and registered practical nurses in long-term care.
During the second wave, the province has enhanced testing requirements for long-term care homes, and deployed rapid tests through a proof-of-concept program, recognizing the importance of identifying a case of the virus before it can spread from the community into a long-term care home.