Coronavirus: Number of nursing, retirement homes staff can work in should be limited, RNAO urges

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WATCH ABOVE: A call for help was issued by the Ontario government on Tuesday as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow in Ontario and health care workers continue to contract the virus. Travis Dhanraj reports.

TORONTO – The head of Ontario’s registered nurses’ association says she is pleading with the province to restrict the number of long-term care homes health-care staff can work in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doris Grinspun, the CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, says the changes must be made to stop the spread of the disease in the province’s nursing and retirement homes.

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Grinspun says staff often work in multiple homes because they’re unable to get full-time work, a practice that continues even during the pandemic.

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She says the province must ensure staff work in one home only, and those who cannot be given full-time hours must receive wage enhancement in order to keep them from working in other places.

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Grinspun says she has raised the issue with the provincial government for weeks, but thus far the request has not been acted upon.

The association also says the province must make surgical masks widely available to those same staff and conduct random testing for COVID-19 among residents to aggressively increase monitoring.