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Coronavirus_2020.01.28


Jaydee
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3 hours ago, Jaydee said:

The nation’s economy is on track to drop by more than 30% in the second quarter. Unemployment is well into the double digits. Half of small businesses might close in the next six months. All for naught, it would appear, giving the growing pile of evidence that the economic lockdowns didn’t work.

Part of the reason it didn't work was because of massive, deliberate non-compliance and that non-compliance is getting worse by the day. Even though things are actually worse now than when we started, the push is on to get everything open. No one who previously debriefed me for "not taking it seriously enough" can explain the change of heart, I simply don't understand the logic at play here. Today alone there were 977 new cases reported in Ontario and Quebec. The one day total is more than what set this insanity off in the first place.

But the long term health care debacle, both here and in New York is an entirely different animal, that begs the question WDYTWGTH and people need to held accountable.  

So give em what they want, turn the seatbelt sign off and let em dance til they knock themselves out on the ceiling. 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Sask - 2 new cases

Manitoba - 0

NB - 0

NS - 1

PEI - 0

NF - 0

QB - 573

ON - 404

AB - 42

BC - 10

It's pretty clear where the problem is.  I say keep the borders closed and areas where there are no cases can be free as long as they don't leave the province.

BTW, good site for tracking Canada stats:

https://covid-19-status.ca/

Click each province along the top for details.

Edited by seeker
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Hard questions / facts

1. the virus does kill, so do a lot of other things, so is the virus really a big deal?

2. Most who die are over 60, not exactly abnormal either, so should those under 60 accept the lock downs or should the lock downs be age specific?

3. Is the negative hit on the economy, jobs etc worth the decrease in death rates or should we just give up and accept the loses? I suspect a lot of people would say give up and accept. 

4. The death rate is not bad unless you are A. over 60, B. lost a loved one or C. just don't care

5. Am I going to continue to practice distancing, damn right I am and for the same reason as I get a flu shot every year.

6. getting tired for the daily political soap opera?   I know I am

7. Can we continue to accept using our armed forces to go into nursing homes and provide care while at the same time the young and fit soldiers doing so are themselves being infected?  I say no. Are they being trained and equipped to deal with a pandemic or are they at risk because of political decision to move them in.????  

Am I becoming a cynic?  Yes I am. and by the by I am 75!

Now the non cynic numbers: World totals as of May 25. 

Affected World Population 0.071 %

This is the part of confirmed infection cases against the total 7.8 billion of the world population.

image.thumb.png.f52fa252651b3383388331297183e2dc.png

Over 28000 deaths in France, 20,000 plus in Brazil, almost 100,000 in the US, almost 40,000 in the UK, almost 27,000 in Spain, more than 32,000 in Italy and the daily number continue to rise.  Over 60% of our deaths in Canada are in Quebec, the majority of the rest in Ontario. So .........

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Marshall said:

Am I becoming a cynic?  Yes I am. 

Yeah, me too.  I was somewhat cynical before but now I'm really cynical.

Edited by seeker
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10 hours ago, seeker said:

I was somewhat cynical before but now I'm really cynical.

I think a lot of seasoned and experienced travellers (off the vacation route) share the sentiment.

It’s that combination of symptoms, each of them innocuous in its own right but whispering something’s amiss in your ear. You really wanted to turn back prior to PNR but there was nothing sufficiently overt to warrant the action. Now one engine is out, you have fuel filter bypass lights on the rest and that feeling of regret that only comes when you know you should have heeded the signs earlier. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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1 minute ago, Wolfhunter said:

It’s that combination of symptoms, each of them innocuous in its own right but whispering something’s amiss in your ear. You really wanted to turn back prior to PNR but there was nothing sufficiently overt to warrant the action. Now one engine is out and you have fuel filter bypass lights on the rest. Nothing is a coincidence any more…. 

Wolfhunter;

I have to ask;  how's your novel coming along?

I swear that section above could have come right out of a Gann novel and if you aren't writing one you should be because you're wasting your talent on the 6 of us that read you here.

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15 minutes ago, seeker said:

I swear that section above could have come right out of a Gann novel

Thanks. But in truth, it's happened to me twice, both with JP5... one of them was silica sand from refurbished tanks. 

Different circumstances but I look at bypass lights a bit differently than most as a result. Dump trucks don't have them, so it's all good now.

Edited by Wolfhunter
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1 minute ago, Wolfhunter said:

It's happened to me... twice.

Different circumstances each time though. I look at bypass lights a bit differently than most now.

Happened to me as well.  Dash 8 going into YYT on some dark and stormy night, remnants of some post tropical storm, some stupid wind that doesn't line up with any runway, coming down the slope and the turb is getting worse and worse and worse.  Finally at around 1000' AGL I'm having a hard time keeping the airspeed in the 50 knt window between flap ovrsp and shaker so I call the G/A.  Get the power up and pitch up - MASTER CAUTION! - fuel filter bypass - BOTH engines!  Climb up above the mechanical turb and controller asks - you wanna try it again?  No, no we do not.  C/L no help with problem - says - you should probably land if both fuel filters are bypassing.  Well, yeah, that's a good idea.  Not going to try YYT again, wind in YQX is worse and, of course, does not line up with any runway either.  Eventually decide on YDF.  It was a long hour and a half looking at those bypass lights and knowing that unfiltered fuel was going to the engines especially after something in the fuel made the filters bypass in the first place!

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26 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Thanks. But in truth, it's happened to me twice, both with JP5.

I wasn't saying that I doubted you.  It was a compliment on the quality of the writing - I want to know what happens next.

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22 minutes ago, seeker said:

It was a long hour and a half looking at those bypass lights

I think there is much to be learned from those hour and a half adventures, they provide the perspective that I sense is largely missing in our society now. 

I've had lots of them over the course of a career that spanned 32 years and 10 foreign deployments and I have learned to heed the warning tingle. 

I did take it as a compliment BTW and didn't mean to imply otherwise... thank you. 

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13 hours ago, seeker said:

Sask - 2 new cases

Manitoba - 0

NB - 0

NS - 1

PEI - 0

NF - 0

QB - 573

ON - 404

AB - 42

BC - 10

It's pretty clear where the problem is.  I say keep the borders closed and areas where there are no cases can be free as long as they don't leave the province.

BTW, good site for tracking Canada stats:

https://covid-19-status.ca/

Click each province along the top for details.

on that page THESE are the numbers that we are trying to curb with a lock down NOT the others.

image.png.a94151516a40245e25c0352acee34d92.png

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12 hours ago, seeker said:

Yeah, me too.  I was somewhat cynical before but now I'm really cynical.


My take on it all.  Just because I am an A-Hole at heart.

If a Virus or disease like Covid starts is journey across the globe.  Who are we to stop it?  Nature is a system of checks and balances that only humans even attempt to alter. Covid-19 is a direct result of those actions.  We knock out SARS and MERS and the plethora of others that mother nature throws at us. (she knows to hit us where we breathe).  Each time the virus is more virulent and dangerous.  Just let it run its course.  Sure numbers of dead will be higher, but that's nature at work.

When lions attack a herd in the Serengeti  they don't attack the strongest and fastest, they attack the weak and the slow.  This creates a stronger and faster herd overall that can better withstand the next attack.  The cycle then continues.  We all know and understand this but since we are all selfish humans with "higher understanding" and "Enlightenment" we choose to protect the weak and the slow.

Now for the cynical part 

The fact we care for the weak and the slow to the detriment of economical gain and the ability to go forth and enjoy life, actually diminishes the overall quality of life.  When someone needs to care for the "weak and slow" of the herd, it is to the detriment of their existence because now they are living FOR someone else.  I realize that this is human nature but in reality it is detrimental to the overall human race.  We are just a VERY large herd of animals that became somewhat "intelligent" over time.  with that "intelligence"  we began keeping people alive that otherwise would have passed.  We don't do that for them, we do that for us because in the end we are selfish human beings and it makes US feel better.

open the gates and let things go as they may because we are only delaying the inevitable.  Mother Nature WILL win, she is just finding the right weapon.

 

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22 minutes ago, boestar said:

 

Now for the cynical part 

The fact we care for the weak and the slow to the detriment of economical gain and the ability to go forth and enjoy life, actually diminishes the overall quality of life.  When someone needs to care for the "weak and slow" of the herd, it is to the detriment of their existence because now they are living FOR someone else.  I realize that this is human nature but in reality it is detrimental to the overall human race.  We are just a VERY large herd of animals that became somewhat "intelligent" over time.  with that "intelligence"  we began keeping people alive that otherwise would have passed.  We don't do that for them, we do that for us because in the end we are selfish human beings and it makes US feel better.

open the gates and let things go as they may because we are only delaying the inevitable.  Mother Nature WILL win, she is just finding the right weapon.

 

Well, quite the post.  The problem of course is where you draw the line - what is an acceptable amount of resources to spend?  Most people would agree that society couldn't spend a 100 million on each sick, injured or old person but what if they only need a few pennies worth of antibiotic.  It's all on a continuum.  Somewhere on that line is the "right" amount of intervention it's just really hard to find.

I've posted this video before.  Worth watching in it's entirety but I've cued it to a part that addresses your point (watch about 5 minutes):

 

Edited by seeker
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45 minutes ago, seeker said:

Most people would agree that society couldn't spend a 100 million on each sick, injured or old person but what if they only need a few pennies worth of antibiotic.  It's all on a continuum.

It will be interesting to see the total cost vs total infection numbers when all is said and done. After the fact, I suspect a lot of people who currently see it different will agree with boestar's  assessment. 

Although unrelated, what saddens me is the effect of things like leprosy and malaria in Africa. It takes a big toll and you hear virtually nothing about it in a culture obsessed with Trump's golf score... the cure/prevention is pretty cheap. As is often the case now, much boils down to perspective and experience. My guess is we won't be undertaking this approach again.

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5 hours ago, seeker said:

Well, quite the post.  The problem of course is where you draw the line - what is an acceptable amount of resources to spend?  Most people would agree that society couldn't spend a 100 million on each sick, injured or old person but what if they only need a few pennies worth of antibiotic.  It's all on a continuum.  Somewhere on that line is the "right" amount of intervention it's just really hard to find.

I've posted this video before.  Worth watching in it's entirety but I've cued it to a part that addresses your point (watch about 5 minutes):

 

I have seen that before and agree with him on the points.  The Math is simple but as long as growth is the path to wealth it will never stop.  People are inherently stupid when it comes to simple truths.

 

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Military report details 'disturbing' allegations on Ontario long term care homes

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

Posted May 26, 2020 1:38 pm MDT

 

Last Updated May 26, 2020 at 12:13 pm MDT

 
MILITARY-AT-EATONVILLE-e1588007364950.jpeg
Military personnel is seen outside the Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke on April 17, 2020. CITYNEWS/Jeff Ducharme
 
 

A military report on five long-term care homes in Ontario details troubling allegations such as rooming COVID-19 positive patients with uninfected ones, insect infestations and aggressive resident feeding that led to choking.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford called in military assistance last month for five long-term care homes dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Ford called the report, “the most heart-wrenching report he has read in his life,” and added, “appalling, disgusting, the dignity of the patient not being cleaned … those are standard operating procedures.”

“My job is to fix a broken system that has been broken for decades … the buck stops with me.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has seen the report, calls it “deeply disturbing.”

The allegations detailed by Canadian Armed Forces members also include failure to isolate COVID-19-positive patients and allowing them to wander outside of their rooms.

At one home, the military reports “significant” fecal contamination in resident rooms, cockroach infestations, residents not being bathed in weeks, and some crying out for help for more than two hours.

You can read the full report from the military below:

Canadian Armed Forces report on Ontario long-term care homes by CityNewsToronto on Scribd

Since members of the military began providing operational assistance in Ontario, 14 of them have become infected with COVID-19.

“I read the report yesterday, coming from the Canadian Armed Forces, and I can tell you that it was extremely troubling,” Trudeau said.

“I was sad, I was shocked, I was disappointed, I was angry. I believe that we’re talking about a situation that clearly is a reality associated with COVID-19, but has also existed for quite some time now.”

Trudeau said there is no doubt more needs to be done for seniors in long-term care, and Ottawa will help.

Premier Ford said the government has begun an active investigation based on the report and at least one death has already been referred to the Chief Coroner for investigation and criminal charges could be possible.

The military has been assisting at Orchard Villa in Pickering, Altamont Care Community in Toronto, Eatonville Care Centre in Toronto, Hawthorne Place in Toronto and Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton.

Orchard Villa, Altamont and Eatonville had all seen dozens of COVID-19 deaths each when the Canadian Armed Forces were called in, and a personal support worker from Altamont also died.

Orchard Villa has now recorded 69 COVID-19 deaths, with Altamont has recorded 52 and Eatonville 42. Hawthorne Place has seen 39 residents die – roughly double the number of fatalities at the time military help was requested. Eleven residents have died at Grace Manor.

Ontario has seen more than 1,500 residents of long-term care die in COVID-19 outbreaks, along with six staff members.

The province has also appointed hospitals to take over the management of two long-term care homes that have been unable to contain COVID-19, despite receiving supports from hospitals for weeks.

Humber River Hospital will manage Downsview Long Term Care Centre, which has reported 52 deaths, up from 40 just a week ago. Southlake Regional Health Centre will manage River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton, a 119-bed facility where there have been 20 deaths and 54 confirmed cases.

The government has said it is launching an independent commission into the province’s long-term care system.

The number of long-term care homes experiencing an outbreak had grown to 190 when that announcement was made last week, but it has since dropped to 150.

The Ontario Long-Term Care Association, opposition parties and the health-care union SEIU have all called for a full public inquiry into the sector. But Ford has said that would take too long.

Provincewide, Ontario reported 287 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and 21 more deaths.

It’s the first time in more than two weeks that the number of new cases has been lower than 300. The previous five days had each seen more than 400 new cases.

There have now been 26,191 total cases in Ontario, a 1.1 per cent increase over the previous day, which is the lowest growth rate since early March.

Testing levels remain relatively low, with 9,875 tests completed during the previous day, despite a provincial capacity of nearly 25,000.

The numbers of people in hospital with COVID-19, in intensive care, and on ventilators all decrea

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The numbers don't lie...

https://spon.ca/for-profit-nursing-homes-have-four-times-as-many-covid-19-deaths-as-city-run-homes-star-analysis-finds/2020/05/09/

For-profit nursing homes have four times as many COVID-19 deaths as city-run homes, Star analysis finds

Posted on May 9, 2020 in Health Delivery System

Source: TheStar.com — Authors: Andrew Bailey, Brendan Kennedy, Ed Tubb, Kenyon Wallace, Marco Chown Oved

TheStar.com – Business
May 8, 2020.   By Marco Chown Oved, Brendan Kennedy, Kenyon Wallace, Ed Tubb and Andrew Bailey

Residents of for-profit nursing homes in Ontario are far more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and die than those who live in non-profit and municipally-run homes, the Star has found.

A Star analysis of public data on long-term-care homes shows the facilities have been hit by outbreaks at approximately the same rate, regardless of ownership. But once COVID-19 makes it into a nursing home, the outcomes have been far worse for residents of for-profit homes.

In homes with an outbreak, residents in for-profit facilities are about twice as likely to catch COVID-19 and die than residents in non-profits, and about four times as likely to become infected and die from the virus as those in a municipal home.

“I’m not one bit surprised,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of the SEIU Healthcare union, which represents personal support workers and other front-line staff in both for-profit and non-profit nursing homes.

Stewart said that based on the experiences of the union’s members, for-profit nursing homes use more part-time and casual staff and have lower staffing levels overall compared to non-profit homes. She said non-profit homes have better infection controls and for-profit homes are less prepared to handle outbreaks. “This is old news for us.”

Judy Irwin, a spokesperson for the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), which represents about 70 per cent of Ontario’s long-term-care homes of all ownership types, questioned the Star’s analysis, saying “there will need to be much more rigour in both the data accuracy and the analysis before any conclusions can be drawn. To proceed down a path of loose interpretation of incomplete data at this point would not be responsible.”

Long-term care is the front line of Canada’s battle with COVID-19, accounting for as many as four out of every five deaths. In an international study released earlier this week, Canada had the highest proportion of long-term care deaths from COVID-19 among 14 countries. Those deaths are occurring at a disproportionate rate in for-profit homes.

The Star’s analysis is based on a home-by-home database of every COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario as of Friday morning. Using it, we took the total number of beds in long-term-care homes as reported to the province and sorted them according to the ownership: for-profit, non-profit and municipal. Then, using the number of cases and deaths reported in each home, we calculated the rate of infection and mortality per 100 beds for each type of ownership.

The results were stark.

A resident in a for-profit home has been about 60 per cent more likely to catch COVID-19 and 45 per cent more likely to die than a resident in a non-profit home. A for-profit resident has also been about four times more likely to catch COVID-19 and four times more likely to die than a resident in a municipally run home.

Non-profit and municipal homes have also suffered severe outbreaks, including the city-run Seven Oaks in Scarborough, which has 108 cases, including 40 deaths among its 249 beds, and the Salvation Army’s Isabel and Arthur Meighen Manor, where there have been 103 cases, including 42 deaths for 168 beds.

Overall, however, there are higher rates of infection and death in for-profit homes.

The province has recorded outbreaks — at least one lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member — in about a third of its 651 long-term-care homes, and for-profit, non-profit and municipal homes have been hit at about the same rate.

But where COVID-19 is present, the for-profit homes have fared worse in controlling the outbreak and preventing deaths: For-profit facilities with outbreaks had 16 cases per 100 beds, compared to eight in non-profits and four in municipal facilities. Likewise, there have been four deaths per 100 for-profit beds, compared to two per 100 beds in non-profits and one in municipal facilities.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario long-term-care homes, per 100 beds

In homes experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, residents of for-profit facilities have fared far worse on average.

index-desktop-forprofit.png

SOURCE: MINISTRY OF LONG TERM CARE, REGIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS AND STAR RESEARCH

Overall, for-profit homes make up less than 60 per cent of long-term-care homes in the province, but they account for 16 of the 20 worst outbreaks.

The Star’s data uses the cumulative totals of cases and deaths in each outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. This approach differs from the counts published daily by the Ministry of Long-Term Care. The ministry says its counts refer to “active” cases and therefore exclude both deaths and resolved illnesses from each home’s current case count. The ministry says its data is meant as a snapshot in time, not as a record of total infections over the entire course of an outbreak.

Irwin, with the OLTCA, said the “type of home ownership is not relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care.”

All types of homes have been affected by COVID-19 “and each has had a different experience with the disease based on a range of factors. These include factors such as whether the home has an aging infrastructure and shared washrooms and/or 4-bed rooms, the staffing situation both pre-outbreak and during, and how rapidly homes have been able to access PPE and staffing support when they need assistance,” she said.

Staffing levels in long-term-care homes are not publicly reported and the Star was not able to verify whether staffing levels are typically lower in for-profit homes. The claim has also been made in court filings, labour board applications and in academic research.

More than 190 residents at the 233-bed Orchard Villa long-term-care home in Pickering have been infected with COVID-19, giving the privately run home one of the highest rates of infection in Ontario. To date, 66 residents have died of the virus — the highest death total at a long-term-care home in the province.

 

A Star investigation published last week found that the home has a lengthy history of citations for failing to comply with provincial regulations.

Orchard Villa is owned by Southbridge Care Homes, which operates 37 long-term-care and retirement homes in Ontario. Orchard Villa’s executive director Jason Gay did not directly address the Star’s findings, but in an emailed response to questions said that COVID-19 is “an aggressive virus, especially among seniors who are immune compromised or have pre-existing conditions.”

“The impact across the long-term care community, in our home and to our residents, our families and our staff, is challenging and tragic,” he said. “Our singular focus at this time is on the safety and well-being of our residents and staff.”

The highest total number of resident infections — 209 — has been reported at the for-profit 240-bed Forest Heights Revera in Kitchener. There have been 45 deaths at the facility — the fourth-highest total as of Friday.

The home is owned by Revera Long Term Care Inc., a big player in the industry that runs more than 500 nursing and retirement homes across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Revera is owned by PSP Investments, the pension fund manager for the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Asked to respond to the Star’s findings, Revera issued a press release criticizing “media stories attempting to draw a link between the ownership model for long-term care and the passing of residents from COVID-19.”

“This focus on an issue that is not core to the challenges facing the system is becoming a distraction from discussions about the real reform needed,” said Revera spokesperson Larry Roberts. “Long-term care has not been, until recently, a high priority, and our most vulnerable citizens have paid a heavy price.”

“We need to close the prioritization gap between acute care (e.g. hospitals) and chronic care (long-term),” he said in the release, by prioritizing PPE and increasing funding so that pay and staffing levels in long-term care are equal to those in hospitals.

The Camilla Care Community in Mississauga and the Altamont Care Community in Scarborough have among the highest infection rates in the province, with both homes at about 80 per cent. They also have the second (48) and third (47) highest number of deaths, respectively. Both facilities are owned by Sienna Senior Living Inc., a publicly traded company which runs 70 retirement and long-term-care homes in Ontario and B.C. and last year reported a net income of $7.5 million. In its latest report to shareholders, the company said it has generated a total shareholder return of more than 250 per cent since it went public in 2010.

“We have adhered to provincial directives and protocols prior to and during this pandemic,” wrote Sienna spokesperson Natalie Gokchenian in an email.

Gokchenian called into question the Star’s methodology, saying that deaths should not be included in the total of confirmed cases and suggesting that it would be more appropriate to use the metric of active cases, which exclude both people who have died of COVID-19 and those who have recovered.

“The data you have provided is not correct,” she wrote. “It is premature to draw conclusions on industry wide outcomes. Statistics are being collected in different ways and not all of them are up to date.”

Gokchenian said Sienna plans to hire independent experts to conduct an internal review of the company’s practices and protocols during the crisis. The company also suggests the provincial government should undertake a review of the entire sector.

Earlier this week, the Ontario Health Coalition did its own analysis of the outbreaks and deaths in long-term-care homes and came to a conclusion that corroborates the Star’s findings: for-profit homes are faring far worse than non-profits and municipally run centres.

“We can’t say definitively what the causal relation is for the higher death rates in the for-profit homes, but the key element is staffing,” said executive director Natalie Mehra. “(For-profit homes) have lower staffing levels, they have lower wages and worse working conditions. While there was a critical staffing crisis across all types of homes before COVID-19, now it’s beyond words.”

The provincial decision to limit staff to working in a single home has exacerbated problems at the for-profits, she said.

“Given that the staff have to choose one home to work in, very likely they’ve chosen a home where they have better wages and working conditions. And that’s having an impact on the homes with the most precarious, most fragile staffing, which are really in very serious trouble now.”

All types of long-term-care homes in the province have similar budget restraints: they receive funding from the province according to the same formula and their fees are capped at the same level, Mehra said. But the for-profit homes generally extract profits from their budgets, while the non-profits and municipally run homes often supplement their budgets with fundraising and local taxes.

“The differences are profound,” she said. In non-profit settings, “there are more staff and they can provide more hours of care for each resident.”

Staff working in for-profit homes have also been hit disproportionately hard by the coronavirus: For-profit home staff currently make up nearly 70 per cent of all front-line health-care worker infections.

Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke has to date recorded 104 cases of COVID-19 among its staff, the most in the province. The for-profit home also has one of the highest rates of infection among residents with 182 cases reported in the 247-bed facility. Hawthorne Place Care Centre in North York has the second-most staff cases with 83.

Both homes are owned and operated by Rykka Care Centres, a subsidiary of Markham-based Responsive Group Inc. The company also operates Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville, where 27 deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded. That home also has one of the highest rates of infection in Ontario.

Linda Calabrese, vice-president of operations for Responsive Management Inc. and spokesperson for Responsive Group, said all long-term-care homes receive funding from the government in “envelopes” that are “complex, highly prescriptive and tightly regulated and monitored.”

“Every dollar for nursing and personal care, programs, and food is spent and if not spent, is returned to the province,” she said.

Calabrese added that many of the company’s homes where outbreaks have occurred are “turning the corner” and many staff members have been cleared to come back to work. She said the company is seeing “residents recover fully” and is hopeful the outbreaks at Anson Place and Eatonville can be declared over soon.

Responsive Group was named in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court two weeks ago alleging the company failed to “properly and adequately plan for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic” and as a result, “the virus has run rampant through many of their homes,” the claim alleges.

Among the allegations in the statement of claim: that residents who had tested positive for the virus were being kept in the same spaces as healthy individuals, that the homes had inadequate staff, had failed to provide sufficient personal protective equipment and conduct proper screening.

The lawsuit has not yet been certified by a judge.

In a statement to the Star’s Betsy Powell, the company said it “recognizes the rights of individuals to advance their concerns through litigation.”

“It is equally important that all parties in such matters have the opportunity to present information to the court and for it to be reviewed and thoughtfully considered. The court will then have to determine whether a concern merits certification,” the company said.

Pat Armstrong, a sociology professor at York University who has researched long-term care in Canada for more than 20 years, said she was unsurprised by the Star’s findings.

The main reason, she said, is the incentive of for-profit companies to reduce labour costs. Her research has found that for-profit homes tend to have lower staffing levels, lower wages and a greater reliance on part-time and casual staff, she said.

“Managerial practices taken from the business sector are designed for just enough labour and for making a profit, rather than for providing good care,” Armstrong and her co-authors wrote in a report published last month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “These include paying the lowest wages possible, and hiring part-time, casual and those defined as self employed in order to avoid paying benefits or providing other protections.”

Armstrong said the expansion of privatized long-term care can be traced back to former Progressive Conservative Premier Mike Harris’s time in government when he removed minimum staffing levels and set up a competitive bidding process for government contracts.

Harris is currently the chair of the board of directors for Chartwell, one of the largest private owners of long-term care and retirement homes in the province.

Laura Tamblyn Watts, president of CanAge, a seniors advocacy organization, said the government needs to figure out the reasons for the disparity in the rates of COVID-19 infection and death between for-profit and non-profit homes.

“Is it staffing levels? Is it staff training? Is it availability of PPE? Is it something else? It’s not just about whether or not they’re making money, it’s about what is happening at each home that seems to have these outcomes and we need to learn what that is quickly.”

The main issue, she said, is the lack of national standards.

“If we had national standards about the quality of care, the funding of the care, the funding of the staff, then in the end, whether or not it’s provided by a for-profit or not-for-profit is not as important,” she said. “What’s important is that anyone who’s providing the care lives up to the standards.”

https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/05/08/for-profit-nursing-homes-have-four-times-as-many-covid-19-deaths-as-city-run-homes-star-analysis-finds.html

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Just curious, for someone who says they have being working full time during the pandemic, you sure do have a lot of down time to keep up your posts on this forum. I am retired and can not keep up with you, perhaps age but not computer savvy.  Cheers  ?

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