How some OECD countries helped control COVID-19 in long-term care homes

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Flowers sit on a bench in front of Orchard Villa care home in Pickering, Ont. on April 27, 2020. Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

(David O’Toole/ The Conversation) — People living in long-term care facilities and seniors’ residences have had their lives disproportionately affected by measures taken to stem the spread of COVID-19. In addition to things like social distancing and hand-washing, policies in Canada and other countries have included quarantining in individual rooms, and limited or no access to family members, who are often caregivers as well.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is dedicated to collecting and providing health data on our health systems, and supporting comparable analysis of their performance. After the first three months of the COVID-19 experience, we have reviewed how different countries managed COVID-19 in long-term care settings.

Restrictive measures were a response to a terrible threat to public health. It is important to recall that in the early spring modelling, the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada was tracking the same path as in Italy. All levels of government in Canada have taken extraordinary measures to avoid the experience of overwhelming our hospital systems with COVID-19 patients. (…)

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