Families of residents at a Pickering long-term care home that has been hard-hit by a coronavirus outbreak are requesting a criminal investigation into the handling of the virus at the facility amid allegations of neglect.

Seventy residents at Orchard Villa who were infected with COVID-19 have died and it marks the highest publicly confirmed death toll at an Ontario long-term care home, according to data from the ministry of long term care.

The letter, addressed to Durham Regional Police Chief Paul Martin, is from “family members of residents or former residents (now deceased)” of Orchard Villa.

Forty-one individuals were listed on the letter.

“All of us, and our loved ones, have first-hand information concerning the conditions in this home prior to, and during, this pandemic,” the letter read.

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“We are also aware of inspection reports detailing a long list of serious issues in this home prior to the pandemic, which were clearly exacerbated by it.”

When asked about the letter, Jason Gay, the executive director of Orchard Villa said he had not yet seen it.

“But first and foremost,

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