December 15, 2020
WINDSOR – A lack of access to PPEs at The Village at St. Clair, a long-term care facility, has contributed to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
“The Ontario Government made it clear that all health care workers will have access to proper PPE including N-95,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This outbreak is evidence of a blatant disregard of the directive and the safety of residents and workers.”
There are currently 48 confirmed cases among the 256 residents at the facility and 25 among its staff.
“We were assured yesterday by this employer that our members would have access to an N-95 mask,” said Tullio DiPonti, President of Unifor Local 2458. “Twenty-four hours later these masks are not available to these front-line heroes. With more than 50 residents and 25 staff already testing positive, this should have been a priority weeks ago. It’s hard to believe that with over 2000 deaths of residents in long-term care homes in this province alone, that employers have not prepared for this."
The Ontario government issued “Directive #5 for Hospitals within the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act and Long-Term Care Homes within the meaning of Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007” this summer mandating employers to provide access to PPEs, including N-95 masks, to all health care workers in hospitals.
Unifor will be working diligently to ensure that all employers in long-term care homes provide workers with the proper safety equipment needed to combat this virus and keep residents safe.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Photo courtesy of schlegelvillages.com