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Investigating nursing home hit hard by COVID-19; Consumer debt loads drop: 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

Participants react during a vigil for COVID-19 victims at the Orchard Villa long-term care home in Pickering, Ont., on June 15. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

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

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She ignored the advice of her father's nursing home. Did that save his life? 

Families who asked that their loved ones be transferred to hospital from Orchard Villa Retirement Community in Pickering, Ont., east of Toronto, say they were told hospitals were closed to residents of long-term care homes and that COVID-19-positive residents would need to remain — and possibly die — in the home. 

But a Marketplace investigation with The National found that local hospitals were never closed to long-term care residents.

And when Raquel John-Matuzewiski argued with the home and insisted her dad Chester John be taken to the hospital, she learned he was suffering from more than just COVID-19. He was malnourished and dehydrated.

WATCH | How a daughter ignored nursing home's advice and saved her father's life:

Raquel John-Matuzewiski was told if her COVID-19 positive father had worsening symptoms, he would go into palliative care at the home because the hospital was not accepting patients from care homes. CBC learns that wasn’t true. 2:33

Most deaths of any Ont. nursing home

More people have died of COVID-19 at Orchard Villa than any other long-term care home in Ontario.

Newly released documents show the province's own inspectors warned of multiple problems in the weeks preceding the pandemic.

WATCH | Ont. nursing home with deadliest COVID-19 outbreak inspected right before lockdown:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has expressed shock at poor conditions in long-term care homes, but government inspectors were inside Orchard Villa just before the lockdown. Their reports, newly posted online, reveal the conditions in the home that would come to have the province's highest COVID-19 death toll. 2:01

Consumer debt loads fell last quarter for 1st time in a decade

There's a silver lining for many Canadians during the pandemic. According to a report from Equifax, consumer debt loads went down for the first time in a decade, as more and more people choose to save rather than spend. "With stores and restaurants shut down, consumers were able to cut back on their spending in March as retail sales numbers indicated," said Bill Johnson, Equifax's vice-president of data and analytics, in a release. Read more about Equifax's findings.

COVID-19 seems to have prompted many Canadians to borrow less, but the typical person still owes more than $23,000 in consumer debt, Equifax said. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

This plastic surgeon filmed patients without consent. Will he face disciplinary charges?

In 2018, Marketplace investigation found security cameras in examination rooms at Dr. Martin Jugenburg's plastic surgery clinic at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto.

Now, the physician, also known online as Dr. 6ix, is facing a disciplinary hearing at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for allegations that he filmed thousands of patients at his clinic, including while many were fully or partially naked, without proper notification or consent. It's also alleged that he allowed a television crew to film a breast augmentation surgery against a patient's wishes. Read more about the allegations.

Dr. Martin Jugenburg — known online as Dr. 6ix — is shown in a consultation room at his clinic, the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, in October 2018. (CBC)

Mandatory mask laws are spreading in Canada

Wearing masks may soon be mandatory in more places across the country. So far, many of these laws have been limited to public transportation, but some doctors and epidemiologists are calling for them to be expanded to include more spaces, such as retail stores and restaurants. 

The idea is that masks can reduce the spread of respiratory droplets you produce when breathing, talking, coughing or sneezing, potentially limiting the spread of the coronavirus, especially among those not experiencing any symptoms. Read more about why these experts are pushing for more mandatory mask laws.

Health officials are recommending you wear a mask in public, but some jurisdictions are starting to make it mandatory instead of simply a recommendation. (CBC)

What else is going on?

Scrapping $2 hourly bonus for grocery store workers 'a slap in the face': Loblaw baker
Amanda Nagy says workers should share in the wealth as Loblaw sees profits soar during the pandemic.

Air Canada apologizes after barring passenger from flying to U.S. to see terminally ill husband
The airline has apologized to Mayette Musclow of Kelowna, B.C., after it barred her from flying to Cleveland last month to visit her terminally ill husband.

Cineplex planning tentative reopening of some theatres as of June 26
Six locations in Alberta will reopen as of June 26, with more to follow.

Demand for face shields looks to be heating up as Canadians seek summertime COVID protection
They might not be as fashionable as masks, but they're considered by some to be better for talking, breathing — and protection.

Marketplace needs your help

(CBC/Shutterstock)

Has your computer conked out? Is your phone on the fritz? We want to hear from you. Technology is keeping us connected like never before, but what happens when these devices break? What did you do? Tell us about your broken tablets, computers and phones by emailing caitlin.taylor@cbc.ca.

(CBC)

Are you a big online shopper? Send us your videos and examples of over packaging, including excessive wrapping, too much plastic or giant boxes for small items. Remember to include your name, city, what you bought and where it was from!  And if you're wondering how to shoot it, check out this great video by Marketplace viewer Alfy in Brampton, Ont.  

Send your videos to: marketplace@cbc.ca. PS: Feeling a bit camera shy and want more shooting tips? Email us, and we'll send some along!

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