Pickering long-term care home one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Ontario is investigating the possibility of a privacy breach with the release of residents’ personal health information, says minister of the government.
“Our government takes privacy very seriously and we continue to monitor this situation closely,” wrote Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton in a series of tweets sent over the weekend.
Orchard Villa informed the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and an internal investigation was conducted into the “possibility of personal health information being violated,” Jason wrote. Gay, executive director of the home, in an email. “We will not comment further at this time. “
Pickering-Uxbridge MP Peter Bethlenfalvy issued a statement that Orchard Villa would contact residents and families who may have been affected by the unauthorized disclosure of information.
Durham Region public health virus tracker said Sunday, 66 residents of Orchard Villa long-term care and retirement home have died from COVID-19 since an outbreak was declared at the facility 233 beds in March. It is owned by Southbridge Care Homes, based in Cambridge, Ontario.
A letter sent by Southbridge last Thursday to families of Orchard Villa residents said that with the help of support teams, including members of the Canadian military, “significant progress” has been made in the fight against the deadly virus.
Contacted by the Star, personal injury lawyer Gary Will said that a privacy breach was “indicative of serious problems at Orchard Villa.” His law firm is investigating the installation while deciding whether or not to launch a class action against the owners.
He notes that Orchard Villa has a history of pre-COVID offenses. He has counted more than 15 in the past three years, including the lack of proper care.
Pickering deputy mayor Kevin Ashe released a statement on Saturday saying he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would have isolated himself for the next two weeks. As he wrote when he was unsure, he may have contracted the virus from his daughter, “who is a proud and dedicated personal support worker at Orchard Villa. “