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Muskoka Post Staff
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, issued the following statement in response to two deaths in Ontario long-term care homes related to COVID-19:
"I am deeply saddened to report to Ontarians that there have been two deaths related to COVID-19 in our province's long-term care system. On Monday, March 23, a woman in her 90s passed away after testing positive for COVID-19 and being rushed to Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. She was a resident at Hillsdale Terraces, a long-term care home in Oshawa.
This morning, an 80-year-old woman passed away at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, where she had been in isolation since being admitted to the hospital on March 16. She was a resident of Heritage Green Nursing Home in Stoney Creek.
I offer my condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of these individuals, and to their long-term care communities. My thoughts are with you at this devastating time.
We will not stop our fight against COVID-19. These deaths speak to the severity of this outbreak and emphasize why our government is taking extensive action to keep long-term care residents and staff safe. We have introduced enhanced measures in long-term care homes to enforce social and physical distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19, increased bed availability and ensure homes are able to provide isolation rooms, ensure sufficient nursing and personal support care staff are available, and as of today, put in place a temporary order under the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency that gives homes the flexibility they need to deploy staff when and where they are needed. These and more enhanced safety measures are outlined here.
The health and well-being of all Ontarians, including long-term care residents, their families, and staff is, as always, our government's number one priority.
We will continue to put in place any process necessary to our fight against this outbreak so that we can protect our province's most vulnerable."