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Ontario reports two deaths in nursing homes, 85 new cases of COVID-19

TORONTO, ON., March 24, 2020 — Today, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, issued the following statement in response to two deaths in Ontario long-term care homes related to COVID-19.

On Monday, March 23, a woman in her 90s passed away after testing positive for COVID-19 and being rushed to Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. She was a resident at Hillsdale Terraces, a long-term care home in Oshawa.

And this morning, an 80-year-old woman passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, where she had been in isolation since being admitted to the hospital on March 16. She was a resident of Heritage Green Nursing Home in Stoney Creek.

I offer my condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of these individuals, and to their long-term care communities. My thoughts are with you at this devastating time.

“We will not stop our fight against COVID-19. These deaths speak to the severity of this outbreak and emphasize why our government is taking extensive action to keep long-term care residents and staff safe,” said Fullerton.

We have introduced enhanced measures in long-term care homes to enforce social and physical distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19, increased bed availability and ensure homes are able to provide isolation rooms, ensure sufficient nursing and personal support care staff are available, and as of today, put in place a temporary order under the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency that gives homes the flexibility they need to deploy staff when and where they are needed. These and more enhanced safety measures are outlined here.

Today, partly because of the millions returning home after March Break, according to Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Ontario public health reported 85 new cases of COVID-19. Ontario now has a total of 572 cases, and Ontario public health also reports that so far they have had 50 people hospitalised, 17 patients in intensive care and 7 have had to go on ventilators. 31 healthcare workers have also tested positive since the outbreak.

Tuesday’s 85 new cases of COVID-19

Tuesday’s new cases have been reported from all over the province, including: Toronto, Peel Region, Halton Region, York Region, Durham, Kingston, Guelph, Waterloo, Hamilton, Grey Bruce, Addington, Wellington, Lennox, Frontnenac, Dufferin, Windsor, Essex, Niagara, Ottawa and Sudbury and more. Many are travel related but some are from close contact.

Some of the destinations they had travelled to include, USA, Dubai, Italy, UK, Singapore, Austria and Brazil.

Ontario also announced today that they have secured 12 million sets of surgical gloves, 1 million N95 respirators and nearly 6 million more surgical masks to protect frontline health care workers.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

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