COVID-19 Infections Among Ontario Health Care Workers Spike

Editorial & Advertiser Disclosure Global Banking And Finance Review is an independent publisher which offers News, information, Analysis, Opinion, Press Releases, Reviews, Research reports covering various economies, industries, products, services and companies. The content available on globalbankingandfinance.com is sourced by a mixture of different methods which is not limited to content produced and supplied by various staff writers, journalists, freelancers, individuals, organizations, companies, PR agencies Sponsored Posts etc. The information available on this website is purely for educational and informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any of the information provided at globalbankingandfinance.com with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. Globalbankingandfinance.com also links to various third party websites and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of the information provided by third party websites. Links from various articles on our site to third party websites are a mixture of non-sponsored links and sponsored links. Only a very small fraction of the links which point to external websites are affiliate links. Some of the links which you may click on our website may link to various products and services from our partners who may compensate us if you buy a service or product or fill a form or install an app. This will not incur additional cost to you. A very few articles on our website are sponsored posts or paid advertorials. These are marked as sponsored posts at the bottom of each post. For avoidance of any doubts and to make it easier for you to differentiate sponsored or non-sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles on our site or all links to external websites as sponsored . Please note that some of the services or products which we talk about carry a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. These may be complex services or products and we request the readers to consider this purely from an educational standpoint. The information provided on this website is general in nature. Global Banking & Finance Review expressly disclaims any liability without any limitation which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of such information.

The fight against the spread of COVID-19 hinges on Ontario hospital and long-term care, home care workers and paramedics not contracting the virus in large numbers, so that they can care for the sick across the province. But already dozens of health care staff have COVID-19. This includes one who is very ill with the virus contracted at a home where residents have died from coronavirus.

Recent member polling and information gathering by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) -which represents about 90,000 health care staff in Ontario shows that masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are being rationed at their workplaces, locked up or in some cases being denied to them entirely. Seventy (70%) per cent of CUPEs 2400 hospital sector members said that the Ontario government is not doing enough to protect them or the people they care for.

Health care workers rise each day and meet the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, at risk to their own health and that of their families. All that they ask is that they be given adequate protection, says Michael Hurley president of CUPEs Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).

In Italy and in Spain more than 10 per cent of health care workers are now infected, following safety protocols like Ontarios and with similar equipment shortages. Hurley is urging the Ontario government to revise its protocols on safety and release its stockpile of expired N95 masks immediately, across the healthcare system. Every day that equipment is rationed, and staff become infected, they can infect other staff and more importantly, very vulnerable hospital patients and long-term care residents. Immediate action can make all the difference now.

Following the SARS Royal Commission recommendation, Ontario stockpiled 55 million N95 masks, but allowed that stock to expire and did not replenish it. Some masks have been destroyed. Now there are just under a million of these N95 masks that may be earmarked for use outside the health sector. The N95 mask is recommended for use on viruses that could be airborne. Many respected organizations call for health care workers who some into direct contact with suspected or actual COVID-19 cases to take airborne precautions, including an N95 mask. Ontario changed its policy on the airborne nature of the virus when it became clear it does not have enough masks.

Lets not squander the small window of opportunity we have left to flatten the COVID-19 contagion curve, says CUPE Ontario secretary-treasurer Candace Rennick. She is urging the Premier and long-term care minister to increase access for nursing home staff to PPE.

To them I say, please consider that fragile residents are at greater risk of getting COVID-19. However, care staff have little access to regular surgical masks and few to N95 masks even in homes in Durham, Toronto and the Hamilton area, where we know residents are COVID-19 positive. Dont abandon the dedicated long-term care staff when they do so much under challenging workloads, at the best of times. Protect them. Keep them safer.

lf/cope491

Stella Yeadon

CUPE Communications

416-559-9300

[email protected]