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Health and safety concerns shut down care facility in central Hamilton: city

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The removal of residents from a care facility in central Hamilton was not about COVID-19 according to the city’s emergency operations director.

Paul Johnson said a “combination of factors” tied to public health, staffing, fire safety and security precipitated the evacuation of Emerald Lodge on Friday.

“Some of the pieces that residential care facilities (RCF) must adhere to under the schedule of activities for an RCF were not being followed,” Johnson said in a media update on Monday.

“There were also some public health concerns, both in the operation of the centre, but also the infection prevention and control. And in the midst of this pandemic, we were very concerned that if COVID was to enter the home, that it would have a pretty significant chance of spreading.”

Read more: Residential care facility in central Hamilton evacuated due to unsafe conditions

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The city began relocating residents from the home near Main Street East and Victoria Avenue on Friday afternoon at the request of the facility’s receiver, Grant Thornton Ltd., which was handling the insolvency of the home for the city and its partners.

Around 35 residents were moved to the former Cathedral Boys School, which is operating as a temporary men’s shelter.

Johnson said others were temporarily housed or opted to find their own accommodations. Residents living in the home were male and female and ranged from seniors to young adults.

Over the next week, the city will work on permanent placements for those involved, according to Johnson.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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