A nurse in protective gear greets a woman entering the Seven Oaks Long-Term Care Home in Scarborough, Ontario last week. Sixteen deaths at the home have now been linked to COVID-19. Four other deaths are being investigated. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press) 

COVID-19’s attack on seniors’ facilities remains relentless

Covid-19 continues to ravage residents of long-term care facilities in central Canada.

Authorities in Ontario on Wednesday reported eight more deaths linked to the virus at the Seven Oaks Long-Term Care Home in Scarborough, bringing the number of deaths at the facility to 16.

Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, told reporters that four other deaths are also being investigated.

“Unfortunately we anticipate that there may be additional deaths among those residents who have become ill with COVID-19 over the past few weeks,” de Villa said, adding that there are 45 confirmed cases and 56 probable cases of COVID-19 among Seven Oaks’ 249 residents. 

There are also 13 confirmed cases among staff members, she said.

Twenty-eight persons linked at the Pinecrest Nursing Home, in Bobcaygeon, Ont., have died of COVID-19 complications. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The news follows Monday’s announcement that three people died on the weekend at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, about 150 kilometres northeast of Toronto, bringing the total of deaths linked to that facility to 27.

That number rose to 28 later that day when another resident died.

Pinecrest normally houses 65 residents. 

A resident of Bobcaygeon, Ontario displayed a sign last weekend thanking frontline workers for their COVID-19 efforts. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Quebec, Premier François Legault said everyone in the province’s long-term care homes (CHSLDs) — employees and residents — will be systematically tested for COVID-19.

Thirteen people have died from COVID-19 at the CHSLD de Sainte-Dorothée. Residents of long-term care homes account for nearly 45 per cent of the total deaths related to the outbreak in Quebec. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

And Health Minister Danielle McCann promised improvements after nurses at a long-term care home in Montreal suburb where 13 patients have died said the conditions for both staff and patients are inhumane.

More than 100 patients at the CHSLD de Sainte-Dorothée, as well as 50 staff, have tested positive for COVID-19.

The CBC’s Kate McKenna, Sarah Leavitt and Benjamin Shingler report that one nurse, who was moved from her post in an emergency room to help at the CHSLD as the virus continued to spread, described how they received almost no instruction or information on how the home operated prior to starting work. 

“It was extremely rough,” the nurse said in an interview Wednesday. 

“We had to figure out everything on our own.”

With files from CBC News (Kate McKenna,Sarah Leavitt, Benjamin Shingler, Kamila Hinkson, Verity Stevenson). RCI

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