Twenty-two residents of the Seven Oaks long-term care facility in Scarborough have died after contracting coronavirus, Toronto Public Health confirms to Global News.
“Unfortunately, as of April 12, 2020, we are aware of 22 deaths from COVID-19 among residents at Seven Oaks. There are 82 confirmed cases among 249 residents and 14 confirmed cases among 200 staff,” a Toronto Public Health spokesperson said.
A email sent Saturday evening on behalf of Seven Oaks administrator Peter Puiatti informed families of additional deaths.
“We are completely focused on adherence and implementation to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care and Toronto Public Health guidelines to keep our residents and staff members safe,” the email read.
The daughter of a resident at the home who did not want to be identified told Global News Monday she’s worried about her father being in the home.
“I’m skeptical as to whether or not he’s safe because until they start testing everyone in the long term care homes, that’s the only way I’m going to know for sure if he’s got COVID-19,” she said.
She also expressed frustration at the city’s pace in releasing updated numbers publicly.
It was not until Global News reached out to city officials asking about the additional deaths that Toronto Public Health confirmed.
“We got this email Saturday night. It’s now Monday morning,” the resident’s daughter said.
“Why hasn’t public health notified the media with an update on the fact 6 more people have died?”
Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton responded to news of the deaths at Seven Oaks in a statement Monday.
“My condolences to everyone affected – residents, their families, and staff at Seven Oaks,” the statement read.
“I want to thank every front line health care worker and staff member at Seven Oaks and every other long-term care home across the province … This is a tragic situation and we are working around the clock with my ministry officials, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local public health unit to assist Seven Oaks during this crisis.”
Meanwhile, Ontario reported an additional 421 cases of coronavirus Monday morning including 17 deaths, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 7,470.
Eighty-nine outbreaks have been confirmed at long-term care homes.
— With files from Catherine McDonald