February 23rd, 2021

Govt must address growing shelter outbreaks: NDP

QUEEN'S PARK – The NDP's critic for Poverty and Homelessness Rima Berns-McGown made this statement in response to growing outbreaks in Toronto's shelter system – at least one, Maxwell Meighen Centre, reported 29 cases of a COVID-19 variant of concern as of Monday:

"People experiencing homelessness are 20 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than people who are housed, 10 times more likely to require intensive care if they get COVID-19, and five times more likely to die within three weeks of a positive test.

With COVID-19 moving rapidly through our shelter system, including surging cases of the highly contagious variants, it's imperative Doug Ford take action now to reduce crowding at shelters and ramp up testing, tracing and spaces to isolate to keep residents and staff safe.

The government must also speed up its vaccine rollout to ensure shelter residents and staff are prioritized and vaccinated quickly."