Long-term care system "broken" and needs to be better: Ford

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The province is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020, in a bid to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

To date, Dr. Barbara Yaffe says 132 outbreaks have been declared in Ontario's long-term care facilities.

Although he didn't say it publicly, the Premier's Office later confirmed that Mr. Ford's mother-in-law recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The Ontario government has also introduced a new emergency measure to allow Ontario's 600 mental health and addictions agencies to redeploy staff within different locations or between programs, and to employ extra part-time staff, temporary staff, or contractors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We can do better", he said. Fifteen deaths have been reported in Brampton and one death has been reported in Caledon.

Ford said Thursday that officials are still deciding which homes will receive help from the military.

On Tuesday, Ford said that he was facing mounting pressure to ease up on restrictions imposed by public health officials after updated modelling data suggested that community-spread cases may have peaked. In both outbreaks, the health unit has confirmed one staff member tested positive for the virus. Of those 713, the province said 516 were linked to long-term care.

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With many sectors of the economy struggling under the weight of COVID-19 closures, Ford promised Friday that a framework for the reopening of Ontario's economy will be released early next week.

At Queen's Park Wednesday, Long-Term-Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton acknowledged that there has been confusion over the numbers, and said the province is "making sure that our homes understand the importance of accepting the support when they need the support".

Yesterday, the province formally requested assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces and Public Health Canada to support staff at homes, particularly five priority facilities in the province.

It may not come as a surprise to most, but the province has officially extended all emergency orders related to COVID-19 until May 6.

That's the highest reported increase in cases since the outbreak began, though testing has also significantly increased over the past several weeks.

According to Ontario's daily Epidemiologic Summary, which includes the most current information available from the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) as of 4 p.m. April 22 and from the Toronto Public Health Coronavirus Rapid Entry System (CORES) as of 2 p.m. April 22, Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 59.6 per cent of cases.

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