Nursing Homes, Hospitals Will Become Vectors for COVID-19 if PPE Not Increased Immediately, CLAC Warns
Cambridge, ON—CLAC is calling on the Ontario government to increase the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to implement stronger usage protocols in long term care homes to protect front-line workers and residents. Long term care homes are facing critical shortages of PPE and are not taking adequate measures to protect workers and residents from the spread of COVID-19.
“Recent outbreaks in two Ontario long term care homes demonstrate that COVID-19 is clearly spreading in ways that current policies are failing to address, and that includes failing to protect people from airborne droplets arising from regular or heavier breathing,” said Michael Reid, CLAC’s Ontario healthcare coordinator.
Currently, when patients or residents exhibit flu-like symptoms, staff are not being supplied with masks and eye protection. PPE is only provided for cases with a known link to COVID-19. Physical distancing is required for all Canadians because the virus can spread before people show symptoms. Residents of long term care homes share not only rooms, but all of their living space. These are some of our most vulnerable citizens and extra precautions are required to keep them and their caregivers safe.
“The homes are following the current direction of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and that needs to change now to protect workers and residents,” said Reid.
CLAC hopes to work with the government to act for long term care homes immediately. This request is part of the union’s recommendations to support front-line workers in this critical time. CLAC has also called for a $2 per hour wage increase to better support members financially and to recognize the challenging conditions they face in workplaces that were already understaffed before the pandemic struck.