Pickering long-term care home faces Ontario’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak


The situation in Pickering, Ontario. long-term care and retirement homes are becoming increasingly problematic with the deaths of 40 people and 66 positive tests for the new coronavirus.

Orchard Villa’s retirement and long-term care services sent a letter to families on Thursday detailing the increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the 233-bed facility, stating that 131 residents tested positive for the disease, more than half of its residents.

Earlier this week, Southbridge Care Homes admitted to CTV News Toronto that its home at Orchard Villa was facing a severe shortage of staff and had sought help from various levels of government.

The house announced in the letter Thursday that the provincial government was sending additional support to Orchard Villa to help manage operations during the pandemic. Durham Region announced a day before that a local hospital will also move resources to the home.

Resident families told CTV News Toronto that their loved ones were not receiving the necessary care due to understaffing and that they had received very few updates on the whole event, and relied on on media reports to understand the scope of the problem.

One woman, Cathy Parkes, whose father died at home, told CTV News Toronto that the home administration told her that her father was fine, despite the fact that he could no longer converse with her by phone. .

“If it weren’t for personal support workers and staff nurses, I wouldn’t have any real information about my father. Not only were they the ones who put their lives on the line, but they were the only ones who told me how he really did … when I spoke to the administration, it always withheld information, “she told CTV on Wednesday. News.

“I trusted the people who take care of my father … I couldn’t come in and I couldn’t see him, so I had to take my word for it and I’m sorry. “

The letter, signed Thursday by April Beckett, the home’s acting executive director, recognized some of the families’ serious concerns.

“We understand that you have deep concerns … We are committed to keeping our residents and families informed and we recognize that there is a clear desire for more regular communication,” said the letter.

“We will send letters like this twice a week to make sure you are up to date.”

Beckett wrote that provincial aid should arrive in a few days.

Almost a week ago, Orchard Villa sent a letter to families of residents detailing what happens if a loved one dies at home and urging them to choose a funeral home to “minimize distress.”

The letter describes the sad details of what families have to go through if a loved one dies in the long-term care home.

“A dedicated staff member will be responsible for moving your loved one to a designated area to wait for the funeral home staff to arrive,” the letter said.

“This person will facilitate the transfer to the care of the staff at the funeral home. This must be accomplished within three hours of the person’s death.

“Unfortunately, it will not be possible for the family to accompany or participate in this in any way. “


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