Toronto outlines plans for long-term care staffing as COVID-19 death toll climbs to 147

City officials have outlined the steps being taken to comply with a provincial order regarding long-term care homes, as Toronto’s death toll from COVID-19 climbs to 147.

The provincial order introduced this week restricts all long-term care staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home or health care setting beginning at 12:01 a.m. next Wednesday.

“Starting today, staff working in one of the city’s 10 long-term care homes will have to sign a declaration confirming their decision regarding a single employer,” Mayor John Tory said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“For those unable to commit to the city, they will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of the emergency order. Their position will remain secure.”

Tory said the city is planning and preparing for changes in available staff as a result of the provincial order.

He said senior services and long-term care have already stopped all non-essential services and redirected resources to the essential long-term care operations.

Other steps include:

  • Maximizing part-time front-line staff and using overtime to meet staffing needs during outbreaks.
  • Hiring 50 nursing students and PSW-certified individuals to support and backfill personal support worker positions.
  • Received 80 redeployed staff from elsewhere in the public service and other city divisions, with another 80 starting soon.
  • Requested more redeployed through the emergency operation centre.

Tory saluted city staff, who he said have agreed to be redeployed to the locations where there have been outbreaks of COVID-19.

Toronto records 2,881 cases of COVID-19, 147 deaths

Meanwhile, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said Toronto has now recorded 2,881 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began, and 147 deaths.

She said there are now 230 patients in hospital, 88 of them in intensive care units.


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