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Coronavirus: Hospitals to temporarily manage 2 Ontario long-term care homes

Coronavirus: Hospitals to manage 2 Ontario long-term care homes
WATCH ABOVE: The Ford government has ordered Humber River Hospital to temporarily take over management of Downsview Long-Term Care Home. As Catherine McDonald reports, the union which represents personal support workers has been calling for government intervention for weeks.

The Ontario government says they have appointed two local hospitals to temporarily manage two long-term care homes in the province for 90 days amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Downsview Long Term Care in Toronto will be managed by Humber River Hospital, and River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton, Ont., will be managed by Southlake Regional Health Centre.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Emergency order allows Ontario to control management of long-term care homes

The powers under a new mandatory emergency order made on May 12, allow the Ministry of Long-Term Care to temporarily replace management at some long-term care homes struggling to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

The order allows the province to step in if a facility has a high number of infections or deaths, or if it’s facing a staffing shortage. The province said the appointed manager could be any person, corporation or hospital.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario minister says temporary management of 2 long-term care homes due to spread
Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario minister says temporary management of 2 long-term care homes due to spread

“Despite receiving hospital support for weeks, these homes have been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the government said in a statement.

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“By taking these steps the government is enabling a rigorous management structure to help contain the spread of the disease and assist in returning these homes to normal operations.

The province said if necessary, the orders may be extended past the 90 days.

READ MORE: 404 new coronavirus cases, 29 deaths in Ontario as total cases reach 25,904

“Our government is using every tool available to keep Ontarians safe, especially our most vulnerable people during this unprecedented time,” Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, said. “I am confident that the talented staff at these hospitals and long-term care homes will work together to contain COVID-19 and move beyond the crisis.”

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As of Monday, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 159 current outbreaks at homes across the province and 1,531 residents have died from COVID-19.

Ontario said testing of all residents and staff in long-term care homes has been completed with more rounds of testing for the virus to begin in the coming days and weeks.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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A photo of Downsview Long Term Care home in Toronto on May 25, 2020.
A photo of Downsview Long Term Care home in Toronto on May 25, 2020. James Davidson / Global News
A photo of Downsview Long Term Care home in Toronto on May 25, 2020.
A photo of Downsview Long Term Care home in Toronto on May 25, 2020. James Davidson / Global News