Temporary measures provide further flexibility for long-term care homes, allow homes to redirect staffing and financial resources to essential tasks
Ontario is implementing a new emergency order to ensure that staffing and resources are available to help workers in long-term care residences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary measures provide further flexibility for long-term care homes and allow homes to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks.
"The COVID-19 global pandemic presents challenges the likes of which we have not seen before," said Merrilee Fullerton, minister of long-term care. "I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to keep your loved ones safe and we will not stop acting to keep long-term care residents and staff safe and secure. I want to thank the dedicated staff of these homes who are working tirelessly during these unprecedented times."
The province is also implementing a new approach to redeploying its highly qualified inspectors. These nurses, dieticians, and physiotherapists will be supporting long-term care homes on the ground. They will assist with staff supply and care coordination and by serving as point-people with Public Health and helping homes to prevent and contain infections. They will also perform other tasks necessary to the safety and security of residents.
“Redeploying inspectors to help with critical areas of need was also done in the long-term care sector during SARS in 2003. This model was effective in supporting homes through that pandemic,” said the government.
Recently, the province announced a $243 million fund in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-10. The fund will create additional surge capacity in homes, support 24/7 screening, finance for more staffing, supplies and equipment to help with prevention and containment of this COVID-19 outbreak.
Long-term care homes have enforced social and physical distancing and other measures to contain the spread of the virus. The province has also increased bed availability to ensure homes are able to provide isolation rooms and ensured that sufficient nursing and personal support care staff are available. Ontario also implemented a temporary order that gives homes the flexibility they need to deploy staff when and where they are needed.