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Long-term care cases made up 80 per cent of Canada's COVID-19 deaths in first wave

Last Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 10:44 am MST

The COVID-19 spread in Canada’s long-term care homes during the first wave of the pandemic left the country with one of the highest death rates among countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

A snapshot of Canada’s COVID-19 situation during the first wave of the pandemic is outlined in the chief public health officer’s annual report released today.

Dr. Theresa Tam says the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing inequities involving groups such as seniors, essential service workers, agriculture sector employees, women and racialized Canadians.

She says those groups are disadvantaged in Canadian society and were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

The report says globally, Canada ranked 79th out of 201 countries in terms of total cases per million population and 26th for total deaths, with that disproportionate ranking driven mainly by outbreaks and deaths in long-term care. 

Residents of long-term care homes accounted for 80 per cent of the COVID-19 related deaths in the country as of August.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press