Doug Ford has emotional moment discussing 'heartbreaking' situation in care homes

The province is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020, in a bid to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Ontario Public Health gathers its statistics from a public health database, and the website states their data may lag behind that of the ministry of long-term care. But this data has limitations too; it only includes deaths at long-term care homes and not retirement homes, it doesn't tell where the deaths are occurring, and it doesn't tell you which homes are experiencing outbreaks.

Ford, who had described the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes as a "wildfire", said the province is prepared to take whatever action necessary to bring the situation under control.

"We're making sure those communication channels are open", said Fullerton, adding that consistent and timely numbers are "very important".

There were 367 new cases in residents reported in the past day, and 90 new cases in staff.

Yesterday, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported there have now been 218 confirmed cases in the region, but that's not including six previously reported cases that have now left the area.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's 95-year-old mother-in-law has tested positive for COVID-19. According to city of Toronto data from April 22, West Park has 15 confirmed resident cases, nine staff cases, and three deaths.

US CDC reports 690,714 coronavirus cases, 35,443 deaths
The part of the test exposed to contamination was not necessary for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the Post reports. Experts have warned, however, against the opening of this state before testing widely available.

Mr. Ford said he's glad that the federal government has approved its request.

Legault asked for 1,000 more "soldiers" during his news conference on Wednesday afternoon, citing a need for 2,000 staff members across the province's long-term care centres.

Ford said he'll also be formally requesting extra resources from the Public Health Agency to help provide operational and logistical assistance at the homes.

With more than 500 deaths of residents in long-term care, Ford said the system needs to be changed. That's the largest single-day increase in new cases so far, though the growth rate in total cases remains relatively low, at five per cent. And out of the province's 713 deaths, 516 are residents of long-term care facilities.

At Thursday's briefing, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott also poured cold water on the idea of opening up the province any time soon, despite the fact that health officials believe the outbreak is peaking in the community.

  • Ismael Montgomery