For example: A provincial directive on wearing masks in public was needed earlier to ensure consistency across Ontario.
Premier Doug Ford says Rick Hillier has agreed to head up the province's vaccine distribution effort.
"Saying Dr. Williams didn't lead just isn't right". This report does nothing but undermine our entire health team. "I won't stand for this". "Every single ministry has been working to tackle this pandemic".
He said Ontario has the lowest viral rate at 89 cases per 100,000 people, the lowest of all provinces in Canada.
In a statement, the province denied that and other findings Wednesday, saying Williams "has led, and continues to lead, Ontario's public health response, including providing recommendations that have been essential to government actions and plans". "Approximately 9% or 233,000 of them were reported to Ontario".More news: Cowboys Resume Practice; Prep For Washington
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The report cites a number of contributing factors including outdated emergency plans, insufficient staff and significant changeover in Ontario's Provincial Emergency Management Office leaders, a lack of lab surge capacity, and outdated IT systems. Experts being shunted aside, an unwieldy health table structure, and lessons from SARS and previous Auditor-General reports not implemented. She said that the pushback by the government was "unexpected" and reiterated that her report isn't a criticism, rather it is meant to help guide future decision-making.
"This is not what we saw in our audit work; instead we saw delays and confusion in decision-making", the auditor's findings say.
Further adding to questions about pandemic decision making, the AG report found the health command table has now ballooned to more than 500 people and is "overly cumbersome".
Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Health Minister Christine Elliott called the auditor general's report disappointing and said there was a "mischaracterization of the province's pandemic response". "In addition, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health officials did not lead Ontario's response to COVID-19". "As of August 2020, in the province as a whole, an average of only about 80% of individuals who tested positive had been contacted that quickly. Local medical officers of health informed us that they were confused by provincial politicians delivering critical public health advice in place of the chief medical officer of health". The audit also concluded Ontario's COVID response was often disorganized and inconsistent because of variations in management and operations among public health units. "Public health reform recommended about 15 years ago by the SARS Commission had not been fully acted on".More news: The Boss Baby 2 Trailer: There's a New Boss Baby in Town
Information systems now in use have "limited functionality for case management and contact tracing", and the system used in labs is not integrated with the public health system, the audit said.
"COVID-19 spread was not effectively curbed in thousands of cases because of the combined impact of delays in laboratory testing, case management and contact tracing".
"As RNs, we experienced the reality of SARS and warned government early about the need for proper protective equipment, appropriate infection prevention and control measures for long-term care and congregate settings", she says. "In most cases, the Ministry's targets for these activities were not met", the report states.
The government has faced repeated requests to publicly release Williams' advice to the minister and cabinet but has yet to do so, an issue the auditor's report noted.
Of the four cases, transmission was listed as local for two, pending for another and close contact for the fourth.More news: Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco plant damages oil tank
There are now 28 active cases in the health unit's area.