Ontario’s health ministry reported 415 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

The ministry says 192 of the cases are new while 223 of the cases were reported on Sunday because of a lag in reporting between laboratories and public health units.

The cumulative provincial total is now 30,617. The ministry says 2,426 people have died of COVID-19 in Ontario, while a total of 24,252 people have recovered.

A tally by CBC News, using data from local public health units, has found that the most current death toll is 2,474.

A total of 635 people are in hospital, with 117 people in intensive care units and 92 on ventilators.

The ministry said 19,374 tests were completed on Saturday. The province has said it has the capacity to handle up to 25,000 samples daily through a partnership of about 20 public, commercial and hospital labs.

According to the ministry, of all cases reported in the province since the pandemic began:

44.6 per cent of cases are male, while 54.5 per cent are female. 38.1 per cent of cases are 60 years of age and older. Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 67.2 per cent of cases. 12.1 per cent of cases were hospitalized.

The ministry said 311 outbreaks have been reported in long-term care homes to date and no new outbreaks were reported on Sunday.

Of the all the deaths reported by the ministry from mid-January to Saturday, 1,557 were of residents in long-term care homes, or 64.2 per cent, while five have been of health care workers in long-term care homes.

Canadian Armed Forces to help Vaughan care home

In a letter to families on Saturday, the private company that runs Woodbridge Vista Care Community in Vaughan has announced that the Canadian Armed Forces is going to be deployed to help the long-term care home.

Woodbridge Vista Care Community is currently struggling to contain an active COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Saturday at 5 p.m., there have been 22 deaths from COVID-19 of residents at the home, according to York Region. The home has had 102 residents’ cases in all, including deaths, and 40 cases involving health care workers.

Sienna Senior Living has announced in a letter to families that the Canadian Armed Forces is going to be deployed to help Woodbridge Vista Care Community. It will support the ‘provision of care’ at the home, which is struggling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. (Grant Linton/CBC)

“This is good news for us, and will provide our organization with much-needed capacity during the time ahead,” Lois Cormack, president and CEO of Sienna Senior Living, said in the letter.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to work closely with all partners to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Our sole focus is on ensuring residents’ and our health-care teams’ safety and well-being during this unprecedented time.”

The news of the deployment follows an announcement by the province on Thursday that it has appointed William Osler Health System to manage Woodbridge Vista Care Community. The health system serves Brampton, Etobicoke and nearby communities.

Cormack said the home welcomes the support of the armed forces and hospital. She said the armed forces will support “the provision of care” at the home.

And it follows news that a top official with Sienna Senior Living is no longer employed with the company after she was overhead mocking family members of residents there after a virtual town hall meeting.

Joanne Dykeman, former executive vice-president of operations for Sienna Senior Living, is now out of a job. She mocked two family members after an online call organized to address family concerns on Wednesday.

Hospital to provide ‘rigorous management structure’

In a news release on Thursday, Ontario’s long term care ministry said that the home has not been able to contain the spread of COVID-19 among its residents even though it has received support from William Osler Health System.

The appointment of the hospital as an interim manager will provide the home with a “rigorous management structure” to help contain the spread, the ministry said.

As well, taking control means the hospital will be able to return the home to normal operations, it added.

“During these unprecedented times, it’s important to use every tool available to keep Ontarians safe,” Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, long-term care minister, said in the release.

Sienna Senior Living, for its part, now says families should email the home if they have any questions about the intervention of the hospital and armed forces.

Numbers follow extension of emergency orders

The new numbers come a day after the province extended its emergency orders until June 19. The orders include a ban on people dining in bars and restaurants and a ban on gatherings of more than five people.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends the province’s daily briefing on the COVID-19 situation in Toronto on Friday, June 5. (Steve Russell/Canadian Press)

“It is critical that we keep these emergency orders in place so we can continue to reopen the province gradually and safely,” Premier Doug Ford said in a news release on Saturday. 

“We are not out of the woods yet, and this deadly virus still poses a serious risk. We encourage businesses to begin preparing to reopen, so when the time comes, they will be able to protect employees, consumers and the general public.”

The emergency orders that have been extended include those that enable front-line care providers to redeploy staff, allow public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support case management and contact tracing, and prohibit long-term care and retirement home staff from working at more than one home.

The Ontario government declared a provincial emergency on March 17 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This declaration has been extended and is now in effect until June 30.



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