City of Toronto releases second report on COVID-19 management in its long-term care homes


On April 28th 2021, Mayor John Tory announced the second report by City of Toronto staff from the Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) division that summarizes the actions taken from September 14, 2020 up to April 7, to protect the health, safety and well-being of more than 2,600 residents and more than 3,300 staff in the City’s 10 directly-operated long-term care homes during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report, Response to the Second Wave of COVID-19 in City of Toronto Long-Term Care (LTC), can be found at….pdf.

The report builds on the previous report issued in June 2020 ( that includes information on the division’s proactive response to the second wave, its COVID-19 vaccination plan, and plans for “new normal” operations in City-operated LTC homes.

SSLTC has identified nine new recommendations to support the internal efforts at City LTC homes. These additional recommendations include:

1.      Ensuring that staff feel safe and supported and enhance information sharing by strengthening our partnership with CUPE Local 79.
2.      Expanding the division’s focus on technology, including exploring the use of texting programs for staff scheduling, and acquiring additional laptops and smartphones for staff to support resident care, communication and engagement opportunities.
3.      Automating and integrating IPAC documentation and reporting in the LTC homes.
4.      In LTC homes with shared accommodation rooms, establish isolation rooms.
5.      Maintaining vigilance in surveillance and outbreak management, including daily analysis and review of data recorded and actions taken.
6.      Continue to monitor IPAC measures (i.e. universal mask use, PPE, physical distancing, increasing testing, prompt isolation of exposed persons, hand hygiene, enhanced ventilation, environmental cleaning and disinfection), training, auditing and sharing performance results with all staff.
7.      Continue to promote staff vaccination and facilitate onsite vaccine clinics for residents, staff and essential caregivers.
8.      Implement safe resumption of admissions.
9.      Continue the SSLTC Capital Renewal program to permanently eliminate four-bed rooms to ensure that no more than two residents ever occupy a room.

The second report is clear that our long-term care homes worked quickly to protect residents as the second wave struck.

“By rapidly mobilizing all available resources to implement robust staffing supports, enhanced IPAC and testing measures, resident and family support, communications, and most recently, a smooth and efficient vaccine rollout, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care has had success responding to the uncertain and evolving nature of the pandemic, while prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of staff and residents,” the report states.

The City’s LTC homes have seen improvement during the second wave, with fewer cases and deaths in City homes. As of today, 97 per cent of long-term care residents, more than 80 per cent of staff and more than 70 per cent of essential caregivers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The City maintains a strong communication strategy to ensure families are informed on the City’s prevention and mitigation efforts and remain connected and informed about their loved one’s health and well-being.

As part of the City’s long-term COVID-19 recovery efforts, SSLTC continues to review all areas of its pandemic response with a view to identify short and long-term recommendations for improvement.

To all those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19, the City extends its deepest condolences. Staff in the City’s SSLTC division share in the deep sense of loss and are committed to doing everything possible to fight this virus now and to improve outcomes for residents in long-term care homes in the future.


“I commend our long-term care staff for the efforts they’ve made over the past year and are continuing to make to protect the health and well-being of residents in the City’s long-term care homes. This report won’t be the last one. I know, as we face the third wave right now, staff will report back as I have requested on lessons learned combatting this wave and the variants of concern. I want to thank all the residents in our long-term care homes who have been vaccinated to protect themselves, their fellow residents, their families, and our workers. The municipal government and City Council remain absolutely committed to making sure the City’s long-term care homes continue to lead the way in responding to the pandemic and keeping people safe.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The exceptional commitment to care throughout the pandemic by our Seniors Services and Long-Term Care staff has resulted in positive outcomes in City-owned long-term care homes. Although the battle with this virus continues, we must not forget to acknowledge that their notable achievements give us hope as we move forward.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

SOURCE  City of Toronto

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