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Did an inspection change lead to more COVID-19 outbreaks? A PC Optimum Heist; CBC's Marketplace Cheat Sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Consumer and health news you need from the week

A family visits a loved one through the window at Orchard Villa, one of the hardest hit long-term care homes in Ontario. Seventy residents have died there from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. (Getty Images)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Ontario changed how nursing homes are inspected. What was the impact?

When the Ford government scaled back comprehensive, annual inspections of Ontario nursing homes in 2018, experts say it may have left facilities unprepared and residents vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic. So we teamed up with our colleagues at The National to analyze thousands of Ontario long-term care violations, and found the new system caught 68 per cent fewer infection control infractions. We also dug up an internal government report revealing these "resident quality inspections" were up to five times better at catching infractions. Read more

When the Ford government scaled back comprehensive, annual inspections of Ontario nursing homes in 2018, experts say it may have left facilities unprepared and residents vulnerable to the novel coronavirus because the only oversight mechanism that reliably found infection control weaknesses had been removed. A joint CBC Marketplace and The National investigation analyzed thousands of long-term care violations in the year leading up to the pandemic and found the new system caught 68 per cent fewer infection control infractions. And the province's 2015 report reveals these "resident quality inspections" were up to five times better at catching serious infractions. 8:29

How did hackers manage to steal over $1,000 in PC Optimum points?

When Chris Eggers and his wife signed up for an in-store text message promotion at a Toronto Shoppers Drug Mart, they thought they'd collect extra PC Optimum points. Instead, Eggers alleges, hackers stole them all. The couple says more than $1,000 in points was stolen from them after thieves redeemed them at a nearby Shoppers. Loblaw Companies Ltd. has apologized and helped the couple recoup their PC Optimum points, but Eggers worries others could have been hacked, too. Read more

Chris Eggers of Toronto holds up text messages from a PC Optimum contest. He and his wife were scammed out of $1,000 worth of points when hackers accessed their account on Labour Day weekend at a Shoppers Drug Mart location in Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre. (Chris Eggers on Zoom)

Many parents aren't ready to send kids back to school. How to weigh your options

For some, the decision to send their kids back to school was easy. For others, it was hardly black and white. Chloe Yan from Richmond Hill, Ont., is one of thousands of parents in the Greater Toronto Area who decided to keep her kids home from school this year. She decided it was too much of a risk to her parents and mother-in-law, who are all living under the same roof as her eight-year-old daughter, Madison. Read more

Parents in more marginalized neighbourhoods, which have a higher risk of COVID-19, faced tough choices when it came to sending kids back to school. 6:25

Even if you don't love wearing a mask, you'll be thankful you did

They're itchy, sometimes ugly and often annoying. But masks can be the difference between a clean bill of health or a nagging sickness that can harm you and others. Experts warn that at this point in the pandemic, when the benefits of mask-wearing are growing clear — and COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly — Canadians should be donning their masks more, not less. Read more

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was little evidence showing how helpful masks could be at reducing transmission of the virus. But there's been growing consensus among Canadian public health officials that masks are a key tool for curbing the spread. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

What else is going on?

Canada's biggest maker of paper towel concerned about supply amid COVID-19 
You may want to stock up. But no more than necessary.

How COVID-19 worsens Canada's digital divide
The pandemic has further highlighted the urban-rural divide when it comes to internet connectivity.

Loblaws issues national recall for artichoke dip
The packaging fails to warn buyers the product may contain egg.

This Kobalt-branded cordless chainsaw has been recalled 
The product may continue to operate after the trigger has been released, resulting in a potential laceration hazard

Some Goodfood-branded sweet potato bowls have been recalled
They may have undeclared almonds, pecans, wheat and gluten.

Marketplace needs your help

Have you been hurt after a collision with an aggressive driver? Or are you a reformed aggressive driver yourself? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story at marketplace@cbc.ca

Got a busted cellphone, tablet or laptop? CBC's Marketplace wants to see it and fix it!

Our host, David Common, is going to Markham, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 1. And he's putting repair pros to the test: Can they fix your broken tech?

Your story might appear on an episode of Marketplace

For an appointment, please contact stephanie.matteis@cbc.ca

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