Amy T. Hsu, Natasha Lane, Samir K. Sinha, Julie Dunning, Misha Dhuper, Zaina Kahiel, Heidi Sveistrup
3rd May 2020
The Country Report on the Long-Term Care COVID-19 situation in Canada has been updated:
Of the approximately 425,000 long-term care and retirement home residents in Canada, 2.3% have COVID-19, but they account for three-quarters of COVID-19-related deaths in Canada. The case fatality rate of approximately 25% in long-term care and retirement home residents suggests that their chance of survival with COVID-19 is approximately 5 to 10% lower than people who are over 80 years old living in the community, likely due to high prevalence of frailty and chronic disease in this age group. Based on the reported number of COVID-19 cases from official sources, the estimated doubling time was 8.2 days between April 20th and April 26th — indicating that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 remains much higher in long-term care homes than in the general Canadian population. The continued spread of COVID-19 in long-term care settings is likely to be associated with the overall size and density of the population in each jurisdiction, which influence the rate of community transmission and may continue to drive the total number and rates of COVID-19 deaths in long-term care homes.
Given the vulnerability of residents in long-term care homes, the proper implementation of infection prevention and control policies is the most effective strategy to reduce overall rates of infection and deaths in this population.