Province's oversight of long-term care homes being investigated

The Ombudsman will investigate whether oversight has been adequate

Ontario's ombudsman is launching an investigation into the province's oversight of long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, 1,648 residents and seven staff members have died amid outbreaks in the facilities.

Ombudsman Paul Dube says he will investigate whether the government oversight has been adequate to ensure the safety of residents and staff.

Dube says a military report into the conditions at five homes in the province "painted a stunning portrait of the situation in long-term care during this crisis."

Ontario called in military assistance for five homes dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks in April. Members said they observed cockroach infestations, aggressive feeding that caused choking, bleeding infections, and residents crying for help for hours.

Investigators with the ombudsman's office will look at aspects including how complaints are handled, emergency planning, data collection, rates of infection and deaths and communication with long-term care home residents, staff and the public.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 404 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and 10 more deaths.

That brings the province to a total of 28,263 cases - an increase of 1.5 per cent over the previous day.

The total includes 2,276 deaths and 22,153 cases that have been resolved.

Hospitalizations and the number of people on ventilators remained steady, but the number of patients in intensive care increased.

The number of tests completed in the previous day dropped to 14,379, down from a high of over 20,000 reported Saturday. The amount tends to fall after a weekend.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care reports 112 outbreaks of COVID-19 in those facilities, down from 114 Sunday.