Apr 15, 2020
By Jane Brown
Health experts say Ontario is in the midst of two parallel COVID-19 epidemics.
One is in the community where there are encouraging signs physical distancing is working.
The other is in long term care homes, where there are 114 outbreaks of COVID-19 and 135 residents have died.
And Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday, the battle against the virus has shifted from hospitals to nursing homes.
“We have not seen the surge in hospitals that we were so worried about,” Ford explained during his daily news conference, “As a result, we have capacity within the health sector, and I want available resources from our health system to be re-deployed to those homes when there is a serious outbreak. We need to get hospital based care teams to help long term care staff to manage these outbreaks.”
The premier says details on increased testing for residents and staff and increased infection control will be released Wednesday. And he made it clear on Tuesday, employees of long term care homes will no longer be allowed to work in more than one of these homes at a time to limit the spread of the virus.
So far though, intensive care units in hospitals have avoided the worst.
“The overall capacity across the system, we do have some breathing room which is wonderful news,” said Dr. Joshua Tepper, President and CEO of North York General Hospital.
While on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, Dr. Tepper warned that this could be all undone.
“There is a huge risk that people read this glimmer of good news and look at these graphs and either quietly or not so quietly, we engage in more normal social engagement and we could lose this within days,” Tepper explained. Listen for Dr. Tepper’s complete interview with Libby Znaimer by clicking here.
Right now, there are more ICU beds and ventilators available than even the best case modelling scenarios predicted.