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Military won't be called in to help Ontario's long-term care home

Last Updated Jan 13, 2021 at 5:44 pm EST

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are shown at Residence Yvon-Brunet a long-term care home in Montreal, Saturday, April 18, 2020, as COVID-19 cases rise in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The military will not be called in to help Ontario long-term care homes at this point, Justin Trudeau’s office confirmed on Wednesday.

Instead, The Red Cross has been brought in to help across long-term care sectors.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a call with Ontario Premier Doug Ford one day after the province enacted new COVID-19 restrictions including a stay-at-home order.

“…Both leaders talked about how important it is for Canadians to limit their exposure to others, avoid gatherings, and stay home when possible,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

“Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Ford spoke about the priority vaccination of residents and employees of long-term care homes, and the Prime Minister offered continued federal support for rapid testing and further assistance from the Canadian Red Cross where needed.”

On Wednesday, Ford said the federal government once again offered its support, which was sent to help the hard-hit long-term care sector during the first wave of the pandemic.

“We thank the federal government for their ongoing support throughout the pandemic,” Ford’s office said in a statement.

“The support that we have requested and are currently receiving includes military field hospitals, military logistics advisors to support the vaccine roll-out, including in long-term care, and Red Cross teams in select long-term care homes across Ontario.”

“We will continue to work with the federal government and if any further support is needed we will request it,” they added.

Long-term care has borne the brunt of the pandemic, accounting for more than 3,000 of the province’s more than 5,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The Prime Minister said on Twitter they discussed the vaccine rollout and working together to get as many vaccines to Canadians as possible.

“They agreed on the importance of continuing close federal-provincial collaboration in the vaccine rollout, and both supported maintaining a Team Canada approach to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” Trudeau’s office continued.

“As the federal government continues delivering tens of thousands of vaccines to Ontario every week, the Prime Minister reiterated his full support to Premier Ford in vaccinating as many Ontarians as possible, as quickly as possible.”

With files from 680 NEWS reporter Cormac Mac Sweeney and The Canadian Press

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