Families seek answers about Ontario care home where 62 have died

Families share tears, frustrations with lack of information from care home in townhall organized by opposition NDP MPP who is calling for military help to address lack of care staff.

CNC News

Families of residents are continuing to call on the provincial government to provide more care at the Tendercare Living Centre in Toronto, where 62 residents have died as of Sunday.

In an electronic townhall meeting for family members sponsored by local NDP MPP Doly Degum, family members said they were unable to contact their loved ones or even get returned calls to update them on their health status.

Reed Zhao, whose mother is a resident of the care centre, says he was unable to make any communications with the home until he was contacted to tell say his grandmother had tested positive for COVID-19.

Another participant said he wasn’t told that his mother had contracted COVID-19 until weeks after a positive test, and then only when he was able to get through on the phone.

Begum has called on the provincial government to bring military help to support residents and families until the home can hire more care workers. Almost 100 staff have contracted the virus.

“We’re sitting on a 100,000 vaccines in the freezers right now,” said Begum. “Those need to go out — ASAP. And the final ask is for the military to come in so they can bring in the staffing as soon as possible while the hiring takes place.”

Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care, Merrilee Fullerton, has recently said the care home is under control and doesn’t require help from the armed forced or Canadian Red Cross.

Begum recently invited Fullerton to attend a future townhall to listen to the concerns of frustrations of families but has received no response.

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