Various articles and news stories over the past few days are reporting that COVID-19 cases are climbing in long-term care homes.
Based on data from provincial health ministries, the CBC News estimates that as of the evening of October 13, there were active COVID-19 outbreaks in over 120 long-term care homes in Canada’s hardest hit provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia). In addition to the long-term care facilities, there are close to 100 outbreaks in retirement homes in those provinces, primarily in Ontario and Quebec.
As quoted in an article in today’s Toronto Star:
Seniors advocates and medical professionals are warning we could be on the cusp of another, long-term care catastrophe as COVID-19 cases in Ontario homes hover around similar numbers seen in early April – just two weeks before a massive spike of infections tore through hundreds of facilities.
“I absolutely am very terrified and worried,” said Dr. Amit Arya, a palliative care physician specializing in long-term care, who witnessed first-hand the devastation of the first wave in GTA (Greater Toronto Area) facilities. “We have to really recognize that long-term care is not a parallel universe. More spread of COVID-19 in the community increases the risk of an outbreak starting in long-term care facilities.”