Man who runs Ontario long-term care home without a single case of COVID-19 being called a hero

TORONTO — The 64 residents and their families at Mariann Home in Richmond Hill, Ont. are calling the man who runs it a hero.

“Like I say he is a guardian angel, Bernard. He has brought this home to another level,” Mario Ros told CTV News Toronto today. His 90-year-old mother is a resident at the home. 

The home hasn’t had a single case of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit. 

CEO Bernard Boreland was ahead of the curve and credits his SARS experience and training in helping to protect the residents and staff from COVID-19. 

“That really helped me prepare for this because I reverted back to my SARS training and one of the keys was the single employer rule,” Boreland told CTV News Toronto. 

Staff members only work in this home —instead of working at several different places. And they work in separate cohorts to limit exposure.

Boreland also stockpiled personal protective equipment weeks in advance and he communicated his plan with staff, residents and families.

Mariann Home is a model of success —a true iron ring—that is now being used as an example to teach other stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, and long-term care facilities across the province.

“I get phone calls from my peers in long-term care. They are congratulating us and they are asking us what we are doing right,” Mariann Home Director Erlinda Valera tells CTV News Toronto.

Dr. Amit Arya is a palliative care physician who works in long-term care homes across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. 

“So much of what we can accomplish in long-term care and protecting vulnerable seniors starts by protecting the staff that cares for them. That is two sides of the same coin and Mariann Home did an amazing job of that,” Arya tells CTV News Toronto. 

Boreland credits his staff for successfully keeping Mariann Home COVID-19 free. 

He also says it worked because of the cooperation from the residents and their families. 

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