COVID-19 in Ontario: Death toll nears 700, nurses take 3 long-term care homes to court

Three hard-hit long-term care homes will be in the spotlight today after a court order filed by the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) alleged they failed to give nurses proper access to personal protective equipment and didn’t effectively isolate residents infected with COVID-19.

The ONA is set to ask an Ontario Superior Court judge to order the homes comply with provincial infection control and health standards at a hearing set for later this morning.

CBC News has collected data from local health units showing COVID-19 has killed at least 698 people in Ontario — a total that includes hundreds who have died in long-term care.

According to the latest provincial update, 878 patients with the disease are being hospitalized, and 243 are in intensive care units.

Data collected by CBC News shows at least 698 deaths in the province.

The province says there have been 12,245 confirmed COVID-19 cases in total, 510 of which were new on Wednesday.

The real number of confirmed cases is likely far higher given Ontario’s past testing woes. Regardless, the latest provincial modelling suggests Ontario has reached the peak when it comes to community spread of the disease, although health officials say physical distancing measures must continue.

3 facilities named in court injunction

The three homes named by the ONA in its court injunction are Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville, Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke, and Hawthorne Place Care Centre in North York.

About 60 residents have died in total in the three facilities, with three of those deaths coming overnight at Hawthorne Place.

Speaking to CBC News over the weekend, ONA president Vicki McKenna descried the situation as an “urgent emergency.”

All three homes are owned by Rykka Care Centres, which is an operating partner of Responsive Group.

Responsive Group told CBC Toronto it has been following all directives from local public health units, saying it will provide specific details in affidavits filed through the court.

In a separate move, the Services Employees International Union is asking the province to take over operations at the same three facilities — with union president Sharleen Stewart calling their handling of the pandemic “pure negligence.”


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