Premier Ford says the second wave of COVID-19 is going to be worse than the first. He also announced a plan to recruit, retain and support over 3,700 more frontline health care workers.
ONTARIO - Ontario Premier Doug Ford opened today's press briefing by officially declaring the the Province is currently in the second wave of COVID-19.
"Today's numbers are deeply concerning and our health officials are telling us that Ontario is now in the second wave of COVID-19. We know this wave will be more complicated, more complex, it will be worse than the first wave we faced earlier this year and we all have a critical role to play. Please following the health guidelines, please download the COVID alert app and please get your flu shot this year, it's absolutely critical. If we can get everyone to take these simple steps, we can tip the scale and avoid the worse."
Ford also announced today the Province is investing $52.5 million to recruit, retain and support over 3,700 more frontline health care workers and caregivers to ensure our health care system can meet any surge in demand, while continuing to provide safe and high-quality care to patients and long-term care residents.
In order to increase and stabilize the health care workforce, the province is investing an additional $26.3 million to support personal support workers (PSWs) and supportive care workers, including:
- $14 million for the Personal Support Worker training funds to continue training PSWs in the home and community care and long-term care sectors;
- $10.3 million for the new Personal Support Worker Return of Service Program, to recruit and retain recent graduates to work in long-term care homes and in the home and community care sectors. This program will provide a $5,000 incentive to 2,000 recent graduates for a six-month commitment to work in these settings;
- $1.3 million to train 160 supportive care workers to provide basic home support services;
- $700,000 in accelerated PSW training for 220 students with prior health experience to practice in Ontario.
The province is investing an additional $26 million to support nurses, including:
- $18 million for Ontario's Nursing Graduate Guarantee program, which provides full-time salary and benefits for over 600 nurses with a focus on recruiting in areas of need such as long-term care homes and acute care settings;
- Up to $8 million to add over 800 nurses to the health system in areas of need across the province.
The province is supporting frontline workers, families and caregivers by:
- Investing $200,000 to improve the matching algorithm for the Ontario Matching Portal, which will enable employers to get faster matches that best meet their needs;
- Expanding training, tools and resources available to frontline workers across the social services sector; and
- Continuing to update visitor policies for congregate care settings, including long-term care, that promote family and caregiver involvement to support better care and reduce isolation.
You can listen to the Premiers comments from today below: