Did Ontario really need to call in the military for COVID-19 in

More than 250 facilities ⁠have now asked to use VIANurse resources, including about 190 nursing homes, Grinspun said.

“But not because they have been referred by the Ontario Health team or government officials,” she added. “It’s because homes have connected with us directly.”

Now, with army teams in five Toronto-area nursing homes, the province is also co-ordinating with the RNAO about deploying more nurses, Grinspun said, adding that she didn’t think the delay was ill-intentioned. “Everyone was so busy,” she said.

Chazan said in her statement that various organizations have made 1,000 requests for help through the government’s platform. Of those, 688 were for nurses, she said.

“All are in various stages of deployment,” Chazan said. She did not answer a question about how many nurses the province has deployed through the RNAO.

A crisis in long-term care

Ford has said Ontario placed an “iron ring” around the elderly, acting early and often as COVID-19 spread through long-term care[2]. The government has given the system infusions of extra funding, and offered deliveries of personal protective equipment.

The province rolled out an “action plan” earlier this month that involved redeploying “COVID-19 SWAT teams” of experts from local hospitals. It also announced plans to begin testing everyone in long-term care and to prevent workers in those facilities from spreading the virus to other homes, and to give additional support to medical staff.

Critics have said the government was slow to act and left crucial loopholes. The government has also come under fire after a CBC News investigation found it had largely stopped doing unannounced annual inspections of long-term care homes.

Ford has said he thinks the province must open an inquiry into long-term care once the pandemic has passed. Such a probe could also delve into his government’s response to COVID-19 in long-term care.


  1. ^ launched its own (news.ontario.ca)
  2. ^ spread through long-term care (www.nationalobserver.com)
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