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90 Ontario long-term care homes still not fully air-conditioned, ministry says

Click to play video: 'Calls for air conditioning units in all Quebec long-term care homes to face heat wave' Calls for air conditioning units in all Quebec long-term care homes to face heat wave
RELATED: Calls for air conditioning units in all Quebec long-term care homes to face heat wave – Jul 19, 2022

Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term Care says there are still 90 homes that are not fully air-conditioned, despite legislation that requires all homes to have it.

The ministry said, as of Tuesday, 537 out of 627 long term care homes do have air conditioning units installed in all rooms as temperatures across Ontario soar into the 30s with humidex values reaching almost 40 C.

This is up by eight homes since late June when the ministry said there were 529 long term care homes with full A/C — leaving 98 homes who didn’t.

Heat warnings have been issued by Environment Canada, with some regions already in their second or third day of extreme heat.

Legislation passed last year required long-term care homes to install air conditioning in all resident rooms by June 22.

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Read more: Nearly 100 Ontario long-term care homes haven’t installed air conditioning in all rooms

The province cited global supply chain issues as affecting air conditioning unit delivery timelines. They also said other delays, such as visitor restrictions, have prevented contractors from entering homes due to COVID-19 outbreaks, weather issues and in some cases complex structural challenges.

“The Ministry of Long-Term Care continues to work with Infrastructure Ontario and remaining homes not yet fully air-conditioned to make more progress installing air conditioning in all resident rooms as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the ministry told Global News in a statement.

However, the ministry said all long-term care homes in Ontario have designated cooling areas for residents.

The spokesperson also said home operators need to ensure a home’s heat-related illness prevention and management plan is developed “in accordance with regulatory requirements, and processes are in place to protect residents from heat-related illness.”

— With files from Jessica Smith, The Canadian Press 

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