15 April 2020 – Government launches new plan to protect long-term care residents

Type of Intervention: Regulation, Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Social and physical distancing measures; Special populations
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Minister of Health Christine Elliot, Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton

Overview: The Ontario government has issued a new emergency order that restricts long-term care home staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home, or health care setting. This is termed the “COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes”, and provides new critical measures that aim to prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes. These measures include more aggressive testing, screening, and surveillance practices, improved management of outbreaks and spread through rigorous infection prevention and control measures, and growth and redeployment of the long-term care workforce. The order’s measures were enacted immediately (within 48 hours) and the government has provided emergency funding for long-term care homes to rapidly hire and train front-line staff and cover the costs of increasing hours for part-time staff.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-ramping-up-protection-for-long-term-care.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Perception of an increased threat
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario
Evidence/Justification: This action was taken under the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. The justification given to target long-term care homes is that Ontario’s seniors and most vulnerable citizens are at greatest risk during this pandemic. These actions aim to work proactively against COVID-19 to prevent further outbreaks and deaths in long-term care homes.