The owners of Canada’s largest private retirement home operator are calling for the Ford PCs at Queen’s Park to loosen COVID-19 related restrictions on retirement homes.
But health experts and seniors advocates warn such a move could put vulnerable seniors at greater risk of exposure to the new coronavirus.
A spokesperson for Chartwell Retirement Residences says the company believes new residents should not have to be quarantined for fourteen days and that the existing requirement for a negative COVID-19 test prior to move-in is sufficient.
Doctor Tamara Daly is chair of York University’s Centre for Aging Research and Education. She says the reason Chartwell wants the restriction lifted is because the quarantine is cutting into the company’s bottom line and not being able to maintain full occupancy is a threat to the business.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams says his office has not been contacted by Chartwell, adding there is no change planned to life the quarantine restriction.
By way of note, former Ontario Premier Mike Harris is Chartwell’s chair of the board. Twenty five years ago, Harris relaxed the regulations and loosened public oversight of Ontario’s care for seniors.