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Ministry of Health Memorandum - Regional COVID-19 Staffing Response in Support of LTC Homes

As you know, the challenges we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic in congregate care settings in Ontario continue. These include long term care (LTC) homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings, such as institutions providing care to vulnerable populations. We are implementing further actions to enable our partners across the health system to continue to take action to ensure that local plans are better able to support patient care needs across the continuum of care.

In support of regional efforts to address the challenges that LTC homes are facing, the Ontario Health (OH) Regions will be leading regional and local efforts -- with partners from hospitals, home care, public health units, Ministry of Long-Term Care and elsewhere in the health system -- to plan and support the needs of long term care homes to provide staff, and other supports for homes, and ensure resident care is stabilized. Notably, these plans are expected to include resourcing for staffing, infection prevention and control, testing, and any other needs as identified as a result of COVID-19.

On April 24, 2020, the Minister of Health announced new measures, including an Emergency Order ( that will enable hospitals to better support the staffing needs of long term care. The OH Regions will work with hospitals, to identify numbers of staff that can be made available for work in an LTC home; the roster of staff for each hospital will need to be established over the next few days. The rosters will be used to determine where and how to deploy staff when required, so when necessary resources can move quickly should a situation escalate. The creation of these rosters is in addition to the work already underway with federal colleagues, the RNAO and the provincial volunteer database.

Further to the Emergency Order noted above, the Minister of Long-Term Care issued a Directive requiring all long term care homes in outbreak to cooperate with Ontario Health and to provide access for any resources being made available from the provincial government, public hospitals, or federal government.;

LTC homes are being continually monitored by region, and the data are updated daily. The staffing needs for LTC homes, will vary by home size, numbers of staff available to work, types of workers needed, etc. The OH Regions are working with homes to understand their needs, and are working with various HR approaches to support homes in their staffing capacity.

The determination of when and how many staff will be deployed to meet the needs of an identified home, will be a decision that is made in partnership with the OH Region, Ministry of Long-Term Care, the hospitals and the long term care home. Together the homes, hospitals, and OH regions will implement plans to support care in homes in the region. Home healthcare providers will be requested to provide OH with staffing plans for redeployment and create a roster so they too are better enabled to support the delivery of care into identified long term care homes.

OH Regional Leads will provide information to you in the coming days, on how you may help to inform data collection and reporting. All efforts will be made to streamline and simplify reporting. While this current effort is heavily focussed on LTC homes; expansion, particularly in IPAC and testing is also being rolled out the other congregate settings.

To support the implementation of this critical work, each OH Region has identified one LTC lead for each Region to establish and implement regional plans in response to this urgent need. We have provided the attached list of OH Regional CEOs and LTC leads for your information.

The OH Regional COVID Response Tables, in partnership with health system providers and leaders throughout the regions, have done tremendous work in meeting the regional and local needs in their areas in preparing for and response to the COVID pandemic. The OH Regional tables have been focused on long term care since the start, with increasing emphasis over the last many weeks; today marks the implementation of additional tools and efforts to further strengthen and utilize the value the regional collaborations can bring to LTC homes and other congregate settings across Ontario.

Kevin Smith

Executive Lead,

COVID-19 LTC Incident Management Response Team

Matthew Anderson

President and CEO

Ontario Health

Mike Heenan

ADM and Incident


OH LTC Regional Leads:


CEO/Regional Lead: Donna Cripps

LTC Lead: Dr. Mira Backo-Shannon


CEO/Regional Lead: Tess Romain

LTC Lead: Lindsay Wingham-Smith


CEO/Regional Lead: Rhonda Crocker Ellacott

LTC Lead: Adam Vinet


CEO/Regional Lead: Bruce Lauckner

LTC Lead: Emily Christoffersen


CEO/Regional Lead: Renato Discenza

LTC Lead: Cynthia Martineau

Click here to download the full PDF Memo

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