Province did inspections by phone at Toronto care home where 21 residents died of COVID-19

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development inspectors carried out investigations at the Ina Grafton Gage Home by phone. 
John Badcock/CBC News

Date Published: May 7, 2020

Source: CBC

The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Trade, and Skills Development was asked to fully inspect the Ina Grafton Gage Home in April after 15 residents of the long-term care facility died from COVID-19 and many staff reported lack of infection control processes and personal protective equipment. Instead of performing an in-person inspection, however, the Ontario government merely performed two inspections by phone. After interviewing staff and the managers by phone, the inspectors determined that there were no problems at the facility. Experts suspect that no in-person inspections of long-term care homes, one of the settings most hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, have been taking place in Ontario since the onset of the pandemic. In response, the Service Employees International Union, who represents the staff at Ina Grafton Gage and other healthcare workers in Ontario. has applied for an emergency hearing at the Ontario Labour Relations Board to compel better infection control measures and to force the province to perform a full in-person inspection. About one-third of Ontario’s LTC facilities have had an outbreak, killing more than 1000 residents.

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Summary by: Vincent Tang