October 16th, 2020

Letter from Andrea Horwath to Doug Ford: seniors should not be living three or four to a single room

Link to the letter

Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

October 16, 2020

Dear Premier Ford: I am writing today concerning the placement of multiple long-term care residents in a single room, where the risk for COVID-19 infection and spread is so great. There are still seniors living sometimes three to four people in a single room in Ontario’s long-term care homes. At the Standing Committee on Estimates this week, the Ministry of LongTerm Care was inexplicably unable to confirm where this was happening and whether homes currently facing COVID-19 outbreaks had residents living in these “ward” rooms.

As Ontario enters a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic this is especially concerning. Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, agrees. Yesterday, Dr. Yaffe stated, “They should not be having more than two to a room.”

I am deeply concerned with your government’s lack of preparations for the second wave of COVID-19 in our province’s long-term care homes. I’ve raised these concerns in the Assembly since late winter, and I have not been satisfied your government has taken the necessary steps to protect vulnerable seniors from a second outbreak this autumn. So far, nearly 1900 seniors died in long-term care, in part because the virus spread so rapidly in poorly prepared facilities. This should never have happened.

The seniors of Ontario and their loved ones are counting on your government to do what is necessary to make this happen today, not in the future, with a plan to prevent this second wave from becoming a second disaster.


Andrea Horwath
MPP Hamilton Centre