DR. TAM: LONG-TERM CARE HOME OUTBREAKS A 'TRAGIC LEGACY OF THIS PANDEMIC'
Apr 13, 2020
By Bob Komsic
Even though the overall number of COVID-19 cases may go down, Canada’s chief public health officer says deaths will continue to rise.
Dr. Theresa Tam says it’s because of outbreaks in long-term care homes; pointing out close to half of deaths being tracked are linked to the facilities.
Calling the outbreaks a ”tragic legacy of this pandemic,” Dr. Tam says they underscore the need for strict infection prevention and control measures and guidance for long-term care homes.
Seniors’ Minister Deb Schulte says the guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada were developed in consultation with provinces and territories.
While long-term care homes fall under provincial jurisdiction, Schulte adds the guidance provides recommendations that complement what other levels of government are doing to monitor, prevent and control infections.
The guidelines include restricting visitors, screening staff, training on infection control and mask use.
”Providing consistent guidance for long-term care homes across the country will help save lives,” said Schulte.
Asked why more wasn’t done earlier, Dr. Tam says all jurisdictions are trying to deal with the outbreaks and as more is learned about how to respond, new measures are being put in place.