Ford emphasizes importance of protecting seniors amid COVID-19 outbreak
At a March 30 press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford discussed additional measures to help cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Following today’s statement issued by Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ford continued to emphasize the importance of self-isolation and strongly urged those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay home.
“We take seriously the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and we’re working to put an iron ring of protection around our seniors from COVID-19,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“I know asking our seniors to stay at home will not be easy as it will mean inconvenience, isolation and significant change in routine. That’s why we are encouraging everyone to reach out and support them, whether it’s delivering their prescriptions or picking up the phone and giving them a call. It will all make a positive difference to our most vulnerable citizens.”
In terms of medical supplies, Ford stated that there was good news to report; the fact that they are in the process of securing massive amounts of new inventory and are working daily with every contact they have in order to acquire medical supplies from every source possible.
Ford also stated that the government is investing $10 million to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors, doubling the investment and the government’s initial commitment in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
This $10 million delivery coordination program is for seniors living at home and is an addition to the $20 million over two years that the province of Ontario has invested to protect seniors in retirement homes.
This also includes increased infection control, active screening procedures and $243 million for long-term care homes which will help to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing, enhanced cleaning and sanitation and additional surge capacity.
“We must do everything in our power to care for and support Ontario’s most vulnerable population,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
“I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to assist and care for Ontario’s seniors, especially those in long-term care, during this unprecedented time.”
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health said, “It’s never been more important that all Ontarians heed the advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health by staying home and practicing physical distancing.”
“This is especially true because it’s the only way to protect our seniors and the most vulnerable people in our province. All of us need to do our part to stop the spread of this virus,” she added.
While this past weekend’s warm weather tempted the public to spend time outdoors, Ford continued to stress the importance of self-isolation.
Although Ford sympathized with the fact that people are longing to spend time outside and need fresh air, he said that in order to overcome this, everyone must continue to do their part.
When asked about extending the emergency declaration, Ford told reporters that they will be extending it for two weeks at a time.
“A vast majority are listening and doing their best to stay home and follow guidelines. I think everyone is doing a great job,” he said, emphasizing the fact that the upcoming weeks will be crucial in order for the curve to go down.
“Please do your very best to stay home and don't gather in groups of more than five people. We’re going to get through this.”
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