COVID-19 death toll risen by 333 per cent in health care facilities: report

 

While the spread of COVID-19 has been trending down in Ontario, cases are still on the rise in congregate care settings.

A report from the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) has found the number of outbreaks in health care settings—including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, public health units and clinics—has nearly doubled.

According to the findings, the number of staff and patients in health care settings has increased by 156 per cent over the last two weeks.

Additionally, the number of deaths in these facilities has risen by 333 per cent during the same time frame.

Further, the number of health care staff invected with the virus has continued to increase over the last month—over the last 30 days, the number of health care workers with COVID-19 has increased by nearly 3,000—which is a 67 per cent increase.

Moreover, more staff than patients are currently infected with the virus in public hospitals.

“This says to us that the PPE that staff are able to access is inadequate. It says that testing, contract tracing and isolation need to be ramped up and workers need to be supported to quarantine when they test positive. It says that we need leadership and competence from our government,” Natalie Mehra, executive director of the OHC, said in a news release.

“Leaving it to the health care provider corporations—for-profit and non-profit—to take care of this themselves is not working,” she continued.

The OHC is calling for the government to implement a coherent plan to help curb the spread of the virus in health care facilities—a plan that includes concrete measures to improve supply, capacity and infection control.

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