The City of Toronto is aware of COVID-19 variants, including the U.K. variant, and the concerns related to large-scale outbreaks within long-term care homes and congregate care settings. The health and safety of the residents and clients, their families and the well-being of our staff members is our priority.
Staff in the City’s Senior Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) division remain focused on strong infection, prevention and control (IPAC) practices at all times, for all residents and staff members.
Throughout the City’s 10 directly operated long-term care (LTC) homes, residents and staff are monitored daily, expected to always practice good hand hygiene, expected to properly wear masks and the required PPE, maintain a safe physical distance from others, follow the requirements for weekly testing and strongly encourage vaccination against COVID-19. Anyone who enters a City LTC home, including staff, is required to participate in online and in-person screening, have a recent negative test result for COVID-19, and adhere to all IPAC and PPE requirements.
SSLTC has incorporated learning from the first wave into operational improvements to better support residents and staff, such as pre-planning for isolation home areas and/or isolation rooms in all resident home areas, additional staffing resources to support IPAC protocols, enhanced air quality with audits and HVAC purification, and cohort staff and residents.
SSLTC continues working with hospital partners, who receive vaccine supply from the Province, to host vaccination clinics and support all stakeholders in being vaccinated against COVID-19.
To date, 93 per cent of residents in the City’s 10 directly operated LTC homes have been vaccinated, 52 per cent of staff have been vaccinated (or have provided consent to be vaccinated once supply resumes) and 74 per cent of essential visitors/caregivers have been vaccinated. Residents are starting to receive the second dose of vaccine this week.
The City and the Immunization Task Force are committed to ensuring the most vulnerable residents of the city are vaccinated in the safest and most efficient means possible, working with the Province and hospital partners to achieve this goal.
Earlier this week, Toronto Public Health reinforced the importance of infection prevention and control measures (IPAC) in long-term care homes, retirement homes, correction facilities, shelters, group homes and other congregate living settings, child care centres, and schools that remain open for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning. More information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/news/toronto-public-health-working-with-partners-to-keep-people-safe-from-new-covid-19-variants/.
TPH has asked all facilities and settings to review, audit and reinforce consistent implementation of their current IPAC measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and any variant. These measures include:
“Staff in the City’s Senior Services and Long-Term Care Homes division are dedicated to keeping the spaces of our long-term care homes healthy for its residents, visitors and staff. We are committed as a City government to doing everything we can, working in cooperation with the provincial and federal governments, to confront this pandemic and keep our residents safe. With cases of the variant appearing in our city and in the province, we are working to ensure every possible precaution has been put in place in our City long-term care homes and Toronto Public Health is working to make sure all facilities across Toronto are doing everything they can to prevent virus spread.”
– Toronto Mayor John Tory
“It is critical for everyone in the City that we continually enhance our protocols for infection prevention and control of COVID-19, especially for people in the City’s long-term care homes and those who care for them. The Senior Services and Long-Term Care division fully understands the importance of collaborating with their hospital partners and sharing best practices to continually enhance the safety of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“The enhanced measures undertaken by our Senior Services and Long-Term Care Division at our City-operated long-term care homes are part of our ongoing efforts to prevent more transmissible variants of COVID-19 from taking hold, while keeping residents and staff safe. By implementing proactive measures now, City staff are delivering on our commitment to doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable during this difficult time.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
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