During a COVID-19 outbreak that happened at end the end of the last year in a privately operated Extendicare Parkside care home in Regina, 41 people have died. The independent office was tasked with investigating this case.
So far, the investigators have done interviews with more than 60 people and gathered more than 20,000 documents.
Saskatchewan ombudsman Mary McFadyen said that her office will investigate the case, aided by the local government. The Saskatchewan government has made some recommendations that they believe would help the investigation:
- Whether Extendicare staff was properly using personal protective equipment.
- How the Parkside building’s condition contributed to the spread of the outbreak.
- Parkside’s adherence to The Housing and Special-care Homes Regulations and obligations under its Principles and Services Agreement.
McFadyen stated that the probe will also inspect the Saskatchewan government’s role in overseeing the care home in Regina since the Saskatchewan Health Authority took over day-to-day operations at the home for a time.
Right now, three investigators are gathering the information in the field. Leila Dueck, the office’s director of communications, stated:
“Everyone in our office has been working as a team to help out as needed. We aim to issue a relevant and timely report later this year, but beyond that, we are not prepared to pinpoint a date.”
A spokesperson for Extendicare also commented:
“We continue to co-operate fully with the ombudsman’s investigation. The ombudsman is in the best position to answer any questions regarding the scope of her investigation.”
Dueck confirmed that so far, 20,000 documents have been gathered:
“The amount of information we collect during an investigation can vary, depending on the nature of the investigation. In this case, there is a lot of information and we are actively working on it. But that’s all we can say for now.”