Earlier this week, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam announced half of Canada’s coronavirus deaths stem from outbreaks in long-term care facilities for seniors.
With now more than 1,000 COVID-19-related deaths reported across the country, hundreds of seniors who were living in those homes now make up a large portion of those deaths.
“These deaths will continue to increase, even as the epidemic growth rate slows down,” Tam said at a press conference on April 13.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also addressed climbing death rates in long-term care homes on April 15, announcing that he’d work with the provinces to boost wages for workers in those facilities who, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, would work shifts at multiple homes to make ends meet.
“The uncomfortable and tragic truth is that the very places that care for our elderly are the most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Trudeau told reporters.
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“Right now, seniors are worried about falling ill and not being able to see their kids and grandkids again. These are the things that we need to focus on as a country.”
Trudeau and provincial leaders are working to make changes to curb the high death rate seen at homes across the country.