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RELEASE & REPORT: Almost 4,000 Dead in Long-Term Care as We Approach End of Wave 2: Wave 2 Deaths Exceed Wave I

Posted: March 12, 2021

(March 12, 2021)

Toronto – As the devastation of the second wave of COVID-19 abates, we are left with certainty that Ontario failed to adequately prepare its health care setting despite months of warning. The Ontario Health Coalition has been tracking COVID-19 outbreaks in health care settings since mid-March, and released a new report today on large outbreaks in health care settings, including long-term care, hospitals and retirement homes. The new report can be found here. As of March 3, the second wave of COVID-19 has 53% more infections and 14% more deaths in residents, patients, and staff than the first wave.

Since our last report January 19th up to Tuesday, February 9th, the following are the trends:

  • The number of people infected in active large outbreaks has decreased by every measure. As of March 3, the cumulative number of residents and patients infected just in the currently active large outbreaks in health care settings decreased 78% from our last report a month ago on February 9. The cumulative number of staff members infected in active large outbreaks decreased 80% from 3,289 a month on February 9. There is a total of 1,850 cases cumulative in the currently active large outbreaks. Four weeks earlier, the total number of cases in the then-active large outbreaks was 8,564; thus, there was a 78% decrease in cases in currently active large health care outbreaks overall.
  • Regardless of the decrease in the number of large outbreaks, almost a third of the long-term care outbreaks that are currently active are large and have not been controlled effectively. Of the 74 active outbreaks in long-term care homes, 23 of them or 31% have more than 10 patients, residents, and staff infected. Details of the nine worst currently-active long-term care outbreaks, with 120 deaths attributed to them, can be found in Table 1 below.
  • The number of cumulative cases in the second wave has far surpassed the amount from the first wave. From September 1 to current day, what we are counting as the second wave, the total number of long-term care cases is 13,114, which is 4,546 more cases than there were in the first wave (March 31 to August 25), or an increase of 53%. The total number of long-term care residents and staff deaths in Wave 2 so far is 2,062, which is 13% more than there were in the first wave.

Since January, there have been 6,204 long-term care residents and staff infected with COVID-19, with 1,078 deaths as of March 9. This averages out to 620 new cases in staff and residents every week of 2021, and 108 deaths each week. With great sadness we report that the average number of deaths of the currently active long-term care outbreaks is 6.7.

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