Second wave plan for long-term care short on details: NDP’s Burrill

NDP leader Gary Burrill speaks. (Healey photo)

HALIFAX: NDP Leader Gary Burrill and NDP Health spokesperson Susan Leblanc have written to the Minister of Health and Wellness to get answers on how a potential second wave of COVID-19 will be managed in long-term care homes in Nova Scotia. While Nova Scotia’s active cases of the virus remain low, jurisdictions across Canada are dealing with spiking case loads. 

“The Liberal government’s second wave plan relies on long-term care facilities creating Regional Care Units  for all residents in an area who test positive for COVID-19,” said Burrill. “However, at this point,  it is unclear which facilities will be tasked with providing this care and if any facilities have agreed to do so.

“It’s been almost 6 months since the outbreak at Northwood was declared resolved and yet little seems to have been done to prepare facilities for a potential  second wave of COVID-19.” 

Just over a month ago, the Department of Health and Wellness sent letters to nursing homes informing them to fill vacant beds or have their government funding cut. The Liberal government’s second wave plan was sent to facilities two weeks ago and published by the media before Thanksgiving. 

“This should be at the very top of the priority list for the Liberal government and the Minister of Health,” said Burrill. “Since March, residents of long-term care, their loved ones, and staff in these facilities have faced serious restrictions and social isolation. We must make sure all of this has been worth it and that any future outbreaks can be contained.”  

The majority of COVID-19-related deaths in Nova Scotia were among Northwood residents. New Brunswick’s recent experience with an outbreak of the virus in a special care home is an important reminder of how quickly and easily the virus can spread.