Ontario officials have said there may be a discrepancy between overall deaths and deaths at long-term care homes due to how the province's health database system, called iPHIS, is tracking data and how the Ministry of Long-Term Care is tracking data.
Meanwhile, a former executive in Ontario's long-term care and retirement industry has told this newspaper that she was horrified by the military report on abuse and negligence in Toronto area long-term care homes, but not surprised.
On May 26, Camilla Care announced that while the cases of 92 residents and 47 staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 and are now considered resolved, 29 residents are still battling the virus. "So I think what you're going to have happen is it'll be for profit but there's going to be additional measures put in place where only the stronger players are going to be able to execute and make a reasonable return on this business", he said.
Ford also announced when that he would be extending the mandate of the Incident Management System (IMS) Long-Term Care Table, a panel of professionals whose job it is to deal with issues related to staffing, infection management, access to personal protective equipment and resources during an emergency.
The premier also says he is expediting an independent commission into long-term care and is hopeful it will be established in July. They were the group responsible for assisting and facilitating the Canadian military at five of the homes most in need.
The number of long-term care homes dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks dropped to 135 on Wednesday from 150 the day before.
According to the province, 45 inspections have been conducted at the five homes mentioned in the CAF report between June 2018 and May 2020.
While Ford is typically a proponent of cutting red tape, he said regulations should be increased when it comes to long-term care. "I've been taking bullets every day for the union".
On Sunday, Ford asked that more Ontario residents to get tested even if they are not showing symptoms, so the province can have a better understanding of the virus.
Ford stressed earlier this month that it was still too early to raise the maximum limit on Ontario gatherings from five to 10.
He said Wednesday that the province is "fully prepared" to take over more long-term care facilities if necessary. We are fully prepared to pull licenses to shut down facilities if it is necessary. "We will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes".