TORONTO — The Ontario government now has the power to temporarily take over management of long-term care homes struggling to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Premier Doug Ford announced on May 13 that the government has approved an emergency order that gives the province the power to install “immediate and effective management alternatives” at long-term care homes during the pandemic.
The manager could be any person, including a corporation or a hospital, said Ford.
In a press release, the province said that a long-term care home may require management assistance if there are a high number of COVID-19 cases among residents or staff, a high number of deaths, an outbreak that is not yet resolved, significant staffing issues, or outstanding requirements from infection prevention and control assessments.
The province says they will make decisions on when and where to assign management support on a case-by-case basis.
“We are doing everything we can to fortify the iron ring of protection around our long-term care residents and the heroic frontline staff who care for them,” said Ford.
“By taking this step, we will be better prepared to immediately swing into action if a home is struggling to contain this deadly virus.”
The Ontario government has previously announced a COVID-19 Action Plan for Long-Term Care Homes on April 15. This plan included measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with a focus on additional testing, containment, addressing staffing challenges and securing personal protective equipment.