Ontario’s minister of long-term care says the province is formally renewing the mandate of the group tasked with managing the COVID-19 crisis in long-term care. 

At a news conference at Queen's Park on Thursday, Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton said the move will allow the team overseeing the situation in long-term care to continue the important work they are doing.

"The IMS (Incident Management System) table meets daily to organize efforts across multiple providers, and ministries, and make rapid decisions to support long-term care homes in need," Fullerton said.

"Through the work of this table, we have seen marked improvements to our long-term care homes affected by COVID-19 outbreaks."

The announcement comes one day after the province confirmed that it will take over a number of long-term care facilities that were the subject of a damning report by the Canadian military.

Premier Doug Ford announced Wednesday that the province will take control of four of the five long-term care homes listed in a recently released report by the Canadian Armed Forces that detailed alarming conditions at the facilities, including infrequent and improper cleaning, improper feeding that may have contributed to at least one death, a lack of infection control.

The province had already taken over two long-term care homes in the province due to “concerns” over their operations and the additional facilities that will now be run by the provincial government include Eatonville Care in Etobicoke, Hawthorne Place in North York, Altamount Care in Scarborough, Orchard Villa in Pickering, and Camilla Care in Mississauga.

Earlier this week, Ford called the military report “horrific” and “heartbreaking.”

He said Wednesday that the province is “fully prepared” to take over more long-term care facilities if necessary.

The premier has also vowed to carry out “rigorous inspections” at the five homes as well as 13 other facilities that are “facing the greatest challenges” managing the outbreak.