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Unifor welcomes Northwood COVID-19 government review

July 3, 2020 - 12:00 AM

July 3, 2020

HALIFAX—Unifor welcomes the announcement by Nova Scotia’s Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey of a review of the COVID-19 outbreak at Northwood’s Halifax campus.

“For years front line health care workers have demanded the employer address the lack of adequate staffing levels at the home," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This review gives health care workers and residents another opportunity to go on record, voice concerns, offer solutions to address poor staffing at the home. I expect Northwood to take the recommendations from Minister seriously and immediately act upon them.”

Minister Delorey appointed infectious disease consultant Dr. Chris Lata and former British Columbia associate deputy minister of health Lynn Stevenson to analyze the outbreak and the response to determine what factors contributed to the spread of COVID-19 at Northwood.

“The review allows the long-term care sector to be better prepared for a possible second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “I believe all health care workers and residents are looking forward to the seeing the recommendations and improvements to the home and generally to all LTC facilities.”

The Northwood review will consider if preparedness for and response to COVID-19 infections were appropriate and timely. It will also look at staff scheduling practices and best practices during each stage of the outbreak. Staff will be interviewed about how to effectively control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care settings.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 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.

Information about the union’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview via Skype or FaceTime, contact Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (416) 707-5794.