Extendicare leaving Saskatchewan following province's deadliest COVID-19 outbreak

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REGINA — Extendicare, a national private long-term care provider, is ending its contract with the government of Saskatchewan after the province's deadliest COVID-19 outbreak happened in one of its homes.

Scott Livingstone, head of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, says the government and Extendicare came to a mutual agreement to end the contract.

The health authority will take over operations of Extendicare's five long-term care homes in Saskatchewan, which have more than 540 residents.

At this time, the residents are to remain in the homes.

The health authority took over management of Extendicare's facilities following a COVID-19 outbreak at Parkside Extendicare in Regina in late 2020.

Over 62 days,194 of its 198 residents became infected and 39 died from the virus.

There were also 132 staff members diagnosed with COVID-19.

"We are committed to work collaboratively with the SHA to support the transition process while remaining focused on the needs of residents, families and staff throughout," Extendicare said in a statement Thursday.

In August, Saskatchewan's ombudsman issued a report following an independent investigation into Parkside.

The report showed staff and residents did not wear masks despite a masking order, and 27 per cent of staff reported working while symptomatic. Some staff told the ombudsman that they faced harassment if they asked to stay home because they were sick.

The report also said there was a lack of personal protective equipment in the facility, and residents were housed four in a room.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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