January 13th, 2021

Armstrong: Ford government needs to step up with staffing support for long-term care homes in the south west region

LONDON - NDP Home Care and Long-Term Care critic, Teresa Armstrong, is calling on the Ford government to step up with staffing support for Maple Manor in Tillsonburg, where COVID-19 has taken the life of 13 residents and infected 128 residents and staff, making it the largest outbreak in the region.

"Today I mourn with the 13 families who have lost a loved one at Maple Manor over the last month. I know this loss deeply impacts the close-knit community surrounding the home who have stood by the residents and staff in this tragic time,” said Armstrong.

“While I'm heartened to hear that the Southwestern Public Health Unit and the Tillsonburg & Woodstock Hospitals are assisting the home they cannot do it alone. I know the staff at Maple Manor have been working hard to keep the residents safe and cared for, but they are down 48 staff members who are currently isolating. For homes that were already short-staffed, this makes it even more difficult to provide the level of care that residents need.”

Armstrong says this could have been avoided if Doug Ford had followed the example of the Quebec and B.C. governments and acted last summer to hire thousands of much-needed PSWs, train them and pay them living wages for full-time hours with benefits.

Other homes in the region are experiencing similarly devastating outbreaks. Even with 73 resident and staff infections and five resident deaths at PeopleCare Tavistock, and 45 residents and staff infections and 18 resident deaths County Terrace in Komoka, action today can still save lives, says Armstrong.

“Ford needs to provide the home with much-needed staffing support - whether that's the Red Cross or the Canadian Armed Forces, and recall the legislature to pass my bill that would legislate a minimum of 4 hours of care per resident, per day. Waiting for a vaccine is not a plan, and we need action today to protect our loved ones," said Armstrong.