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Long-term care homes continue to be a concern; Dr. Tam

Canada now has 24,804 cases of COVID-19 including 734 deaths, almost half of which are linked to long term care homes. Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer says a crucial observation COVID-19 has highlighted is the ongoing challenges with the long-term care facilities and outbreaks in the homes. Dr. Theresa Tam says that is what is driving severe outcomes of deaths in Canada.

A lot of the community cases are related to long-term care homes according to Dr. Tam, as such they remain the priority and that is the agreed-upon lab testing guidance currently in place. In addition, Canada’s Minister of Seniors pointed to the different provincial efforts in place to better support senior’s facilities.

Deb Schulte highlighted British Columbia’s assignment of $10 million to enhance protection measures, Quebec’s $133-million in added funding to support private and public long term care homes support and the Ontario government’s allocation of $243-million for enhanced COVID-19 screening and infection control measures in long term care facilities.

Dr. Tam says the day by day cases are slowing down and Health Canada will be doing more work on that front, “being more cautious with how we move on with slowing down on measures,” She says a lot of the growth rate trends seen as of today are positive.

Nevertheless, she expects to see more reported deaths as the days go on, even as the number of cases slows down, the number of deaths is expected to increase as the severe outcomes that impact Canada’s vulnerable age group continue to unfold.

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