Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

As U.K. variant emerges, data shows essential worker, LTC and school protections needed to crush COVID-19

Published on January 28, 2021

HAMILTON — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said that new modelling data released Thursday shows that the key to beating the virus is for the province to start protecting essential workers, long-term care residents and students and staff at schools — especially as the more infectious variants threaten the province.
New projections from the Science Advisory and Modelling Consensus Table show that essential work is still strongly associated with infections. “Safe workplaces will be important to control COVID-19,” according to the key findings. The Science Table also said Ontario will likely see more seniors in nursing homes die in the second wave than the first, saying “interventions to reduce deaths in long-term care will be critical.”
“Seniors and their loved ones are still begging for the help they need to survive. People are still going to work after potential exposures. And students and staff are being sent back to schools without the additional health measures experts have recommended ,” said Horwath.
“If we take more action now, the worst could be behind us. We can keep the new variants at bay. But if Doug Ford keeps refusing to invest in protections for essential workers, for long-term care residents and for children, teachers and education workers, then more agony and more tragic loss could still lay ahead.”
Horwath called for in-workplace testing, comprehensive in-school testing, paid sick or family care days, and for the Ford government to finally invest in long-term care — including thousands of staff and infection prevention and control measures.
“People are doing their part to stop the spread – that’s clear. But we need the Ford government to do its part, instead of sitting on COVID-19 funding. We need the province to invest in more action and more protections if we want this nightmare to end as soon as possible.”