Amy T. Hsu, Natasha Lane, Samir K. Sinha, Julie Dunning, Misha Dhuper, Zaina Kahiel and Heidi Sveistrup, 10 May 2020
The country report for Canada has now been updated and is available here:
- While there are many sources of data on the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian population in general, timely information on the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canadian long-term care homes was less accessible until recent weeks.
- As new information becomes available and cases evolved or resolved, we have observed changes to previously estimated prevalence and case fatality of residents in Canadian long-term care homes.
- Case fatality rate among residents in Canadian long-term care homes is currently estimated to be between 26 to 29%. This is roughly 10 to 15% higher than the global case fatality rate among people over the age of 80.
- Based on publicly available information from official sources, we have found that deaths in long-term care residents currently represent up to 82% of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada.
- Difference in population size and density in each province, which influences the rate of community transmission, may partially affect regional differences in prevalence of COVID-19 cases in long-term care homes, rather than the proportions of provincial/territorial populations 80 years or older living in these settings.
- 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 deaths in this population.
- Policy measures to ensure the adequate staffing, the limitation of movement of healthcare workers between multiple sites, access to personal protective equipment and ensuring that staff know how to use it properly will also be key in helping to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19 and associated mortality in Canadian long-term care home residents.