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Independent body to probe impact of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, Ontario says

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 @ 11:26 AM | By Amanda Jerome

On May 19, the Ontario government announced it will be launching an independent commission in September to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care homes.

The Minister of Long-Term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, explained in a statement that the government “has been clear” that it will “review the long-term care system to get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Fullerton said that “over the next several months” the government will finalize “details of the commission including terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines.”

“We have been clear the long-term care system in Ontario is broken. We must act quickly and decisively, and that is why an independent non-partisan commission is the best way to conduct a thorough and expedited review,” she added, noting that the commission will provide guidance on “how to improve the long-term care system and better protect residents and staff from any future outbreaks.”

Fullerton said the government offers “condolences to the families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 while residing in a long-term care home.”

“Ontarians need and deserve answers, and let me assure you, they will get them,” she added.