Eight residents of Scarborough long-term care home have now died following COVID-19 outbreak at facility

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Eight residents of a city-run long-term care home in Scarborough have now died following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility, public health officials confirm.

The eight patients resided at the Seven Oaks long-term care home, located near Neilson and Ellesmere roads.

Two of the deaths were previously confirmed on March 26 and Toronto Public Health told CP24 on Wednesday that three of the six new deaths were just reported overnight.

Lenore Bromley, a spokesperson for Toronto Public Health, said as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, there are 23 confirmed cases of the virus at the facility, including 14 residents and nine staff members.

"We extend our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of these individuals during this difficult time," Bromley said in a written statement.

Toronto Public Health said Wednesday that a total of 19 deaths linked to COVID-19 have been reported in the city but it is not clear if that number includes the recent deaths at Seven Oaks.

The news comes as an additional two deaths were reported at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, bringing the total number of deaths linked to that facility to 15, including 14 residents and one spouse.

The operators of Anson Place, a long-term care home in Hagersville, Ont., confirmed Wednesday that three residents have now died following an outbreak of the virus.

They added that 11 of the 19 residents of the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our home follows all relevant protocols, including active screening, social distancing and isolation when needed,” Lisa Roth, the facility’s executive director, said in a written statement emailed to CP24.

The province said Wednesday that there are currently 30 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes in Ontario.

An outbreak is defined as one confirmed positive case in a resident or a staff member.

"We are very concerned about outbreaks in long-term care homes. That is a very, very vulnerable group of people that we need to protect, absolutely,”Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said Wednesday.

“We’ve got very strict requirements now with respect to no visitors, except for palliative purposes, that the staff are checked on a daily basis, and that the residents are still being checked with some of our testing that happens for people who seem well."

Premier Doug Ford said earlier this week that the province will spare no expense to protect elderly residents of Ontario.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we protect the most vulnerable seniors,” Premier Doug Ford said earlier this week. “I just wish we had a crystal ball a month ago, a month and a half ago, to see where this was going but it is all hands on deck. I won’t spare a penny.”