The head of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is praising Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario government for moving to shut down non-essential workplaces in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Premier, thank you for listening. Now is the time for everybody to stay home,” Doris Grinspun told Global News on Monday.
Grinspun, whose group represents 44,000 registered nurse and nurse practitioners in Ontario, talked about the toll the pandemic is having on the frontline workers.
The comments come as there’s news from Toronto Public Health that approximately 13 health care workers in Toronto have tested positive for COVID-19.
“I know there are some (nurses) in London, some in Ottawa. Hopefully they will all get well soon,” said Grinspun, explaining she has a heavy heart because there are already so many cases involving frontline workers.
Grinspun said she is asking the premier to assign two or three manufacturers to produce surgical masks, saying mass gear such as masks and personal protective equipment is key to saving lives.
“We need to know they are protected and they will fight for us,” said Grinspun.
Last week, the RNAO announced a call out to their membership for retired nurses to volunteer their time across the province. Grinspun said 4,500 former nurses are now on hand, volunteering for telehealth and in hospital settings.
She said nursing students are now being offered to nursing homes with a shortage of personal support workers.
“They are qualified,” she explained.
The RNAO also urged Ontario residents to step out onto their porches every evening at 7:30 with pots and pans to make noise and clap.
“To celebrate health care professionals for their heroic work”, said Grinspun.