Canada's worst coronavirus outbreak: Investigating Pinecrest Nursing Home

What the hell is going on at the Pinecrest Nursing Home?

I paid a visit to Bobcaygeon, Ontario (population: 3,525 and declining) to check out the worst outbreak of the Wuhan virus in Canada – namely, the Pinecrest Nursing Home. At time of filming, 29 residents (and one visitor to the home) have died – in other words, about 1% of the population of Bobcaygeon has perished due to #COVID19.

But why is Pinecrest such a hotbed for this virus?

Indeed, there are other retirement residences in little Bobcaygeon – one just two kilometres down the road from Pinecrest – and those communities appear to be coronavirus-free.

Rumours of malfeasance continue to swirl.

For example, some have alleged that persons connected with the home had visited Florida and then visited Pinecrest without observing the 14-day quarantine period.

And while that remains an unproved allegation, part of the problem in Bobcaygeon is the lack of transparency and accountability when it comes to getting answers.

For example, I reached out to the nursing home’s administrator, Mary Carr, and she simply hung up the phone. I visited Pinecrest itself and staff called the police. As for the municipality of the City of Kawartha Lakes (which incorporates Bobcaygeon), incredibly, some councillors are dismissing the need for a public inquiry.

Apparently, such “bad press” might be bad for business in cottage country once a degree of normalcy returns here (it’s eerily reminiscent of the mayor of Amity Island in the film Jaws who didn’t want to close the beaches over the lucrative Fourth of July weekend.)

Thankfully, I did meet up with Bill Denby, the City of Kawartha Lakes Taxpayer’s Association president and one-time candidate for mayor.

And he had plenty to say about the ongoing tragedy at Pinecrest – and all the secrecy that is accompanying it.