Ontario Has Enough Protective Equipment For Health Care For Another Week: Ford

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TORONTO – Ontario Will Be Short On Personal Protective Equipment For Health Care Workers In A Week, Premier Doug Ford Said Monday As He And Other Senior Officials Urged The United States To Relax Restrictions On cross-border shipments.

A combination of delays in global and White House shipments forcing US manufacturers of equipment such as masks to prioritize domestic orders left Ontario’s supply during the COVID-19 pandemic “tense”, a said Ford.

“We are exhausting all avenues open to us, turning over every stone, but the hard truth is that our supplies in Ontario are getting very low and the more new cases we receive, the more resources we use,” said the first. minister. .

“The speed with which this virus spreads depends on all of us,” said Ford, urging people to stay home except for essential trips such as shopping and medical appointments.

US officials have arrested a shipment of 3M N95 masks in South Dakota destined for Ontario, Ford said. He had a conversation with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland pressured Vice President Mike Pence, he said.

The 500,000 masks are expected to be released on Monday, Ford said, but even if they arrive in Ontario, it will only buy the province for another week.

Various Ontario manufacturers are retooling to produce personal protective equipment, but these supplies are weeks away from being ready, said Ford. Ontario is “desperately” relying on shipments the province has placed under the federal government’s wholesale purchase program, he said.

Ontario has codes for all types of protective equipment such as masks, surgical gowns and face shields, said Ford.

“Right now, they’re all red,” he said.

Ontario reported 309 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, including 13 new deaths. There are now a total of 4,347 cases in the province, including 132 deaths and 1,624 patients who have recovered.

The total number of cases reported on Monday represents a 7.7% increase from the previous day’s total – a lower percentage increase than in previous days.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said he wanted to be optimistic about the matter, but cautioned that it is only a day of data.

“I would like to be encouraged but … I would not draw any conclusions at this stage,” he said.

There have been outbreaks in at least 46 long-term care homes, including the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon – a 65-bed facility that has reported 26 COVID-related deaths, including three on Sunday. Nearly 30 staff members have also tested positive.

At least 451 health care workers in Ontario have tested positive for COVID-19, accounting for about 10% of all cases in the province. In Windsor-Essex, where some health workers also work in neighboring Detroit, 44% of local cases involve health workers.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton reported an outbreak of COVID-19 on Monday after three of its special care nursery health workers tested positive.

One had no direct contact with patients or families, while the other two had little or no contact while wearing a protective mask and neither was symptomatic while caring for babies or to the family, the health unit said in a statement.

“Contact tracing is underway to ensure that all babies, family members and staff / doctors who have been in direct contact with positive health workers are tested and appropriate measures will be taken to limit transmission, ”said the press release.

“No baby or parent in the unit is symptomatic. All are closely watched »

The hospital has created a designated space for infants who may have been exposed and the unit is being thoroughly cleaned, the health unit said.

Ontario made an emergency order Monday to allow police, firefighters and paramedics to find out whether a person they come in contact with has tested positive for COVID- 19.

“First responders put their lives on the line every day to protect Ontarians and they are at great risk of being directly exposed to COVID-19 as they perform their frontline duties,” said the solicitor. General Sylvia Jones and Minister of Health Christine Elliott in a joint press release. .

“We must do everything in our power to ensure the health and well-being of those working on the front lines and to provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs and keep Ontarians safe.”

In Ontario, 589 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 216 in intensive care and 160 in ventilation.

A backlog of pending tests that used to be close to 11,000 now stands at just 329.

The Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority said Monday that the Eabametoong First Nation, also known as the Fort Hope First Nation, is the first remote community in the north with a case of COVID-19.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 6, 2020.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

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