This funding will further support prevention and containment efforts in retirement homes in Barrie-Innisfil
ANDREA KHANJIN, BARRIE-INNISFIL MPP
I understand the need to protect our seniors as they have paved the way for many of us today to enjoy the freedoms we uphold and the things that we take for granted. Today I am pleased to announce that locally we will be getting additional support to make sure our seniors are safe. The Ontario government is investing $30 million to help the retirement home sector cover COVID-19 related costs such as hiring, training, and testing additional staff, and sanitizing residences and purchasing supplies to prevent and contain the spread of infection.
This funding is in addition to the $30.9 million that the province provided retirement homes earlier in the pandemic. Locally, $247,020.80 is being invested to help keep our seniors protected. This funding will directly support the Allandale Station Retirement Residence, Barrieview Retirement Community, Lakeside Retirement at Innisfil, Livita Barrington Retirement Residence, Roberta Place Retirement Lodge, and Serenity Barrie.
Protecting the health and well-being of our loved ones living in retirement and long-term care homes in our community, and the dedicated staff who provide care for them is my number one priority. Even though we can see the light at the end of the tunnel as vaccinations are administered, and case-counts lower in care settings; it is critical that we continue to be diligent and follow all safety measures to ensure no further outbreaks are caused.
This funding will further support prevention and containment efforts in retirement homes in Barrie-Innisfil – on-top of the additional funding that was provided to long-term care homes in Barrie and Innisfil in January during the second wave.
The Roberta Place, Mill Creek Care Centre, IOOF Seniors Home, and Bob Rumball Home for the Deaf were provided with funding for an immediate 24/7 health checkpoint to confirm staff and essential caregivers entering the building are properly screened for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure, and to continue screening residents on an ongoing basis to support early detection and containment of any new infections; additional prevention and containment activities such as hiring new staff to carry-out the added workload or to replace workers who are sick or in isolation; additional cleaning equipment and PPE; and implementing infection control measures based on clinical evidence, advice from a physician or other regulated health practitioners with expertise in infection control.
Many of our retirement homes are run by small operators who urgently need the government’s support to deal with rising costs related to fighting COVID-19. These care homes have been working cooperatively with public health officials across the province to ensure best practices are being followed to further prevent and control COVID-19 and to help get residents and staff vaccinated.
The introduction of the UK Variant into Barrie devastated our community, and I am heartbroken for all the families and staff members who were affected by this tragedy. Barrie and Innisfil will be given additional vaccines to stop the spread of this variant, and I have fought hard to make our area part of the Primary Care and AstraZeneca Model.
These vaccines are allocated to Simcoe-Muskoka as part of a pilot program run by the province and will be working with primary care professionals to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to patients aged 60-64. As we enter Phase Two, we are ready to open mass vaccination sites continuing to prioritize vaccinating the vulnerable and age-based groups; and increase our capacity as more and more vaccines arrive each week. The many initiatives and support that the Barrie and Innisfil community have provided throughout the pandemic, and during the COVID-19 Variant outbreak is truly remarkable and has positively touched the lives of many.
You can find more information about Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan, and the COVID-19 Vaccination Implementation Roles and Responsibilities on my website. (https://www.andreampp.com/vaccine-info) Here you can also register to be notified for when you are eligible for a vaccine. To help seniors navigate the virtual world and book vaccination appointments online- my office is available from 9-5 on Monday to Friday to assist over the phone or visit safely in person from your doorstep.
- Ontario has more than 770 retirement homes with capacity to house more than 66,000 residents
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.
- By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65 – older adults are the province’s fastest growing demographic.