BC Nurses’ Union calls COVID-19 variant first identified in U.K. ‘concerning’

Click to play video: 'Concerns over how COVID-19 variant will spread in B.C.'
Concerns over how COVID-19 variant will spread in B.C.
We are learning more about how the first confirmed B.C. case of the new and more infectious COVID-19 variant will spread in our province and what activities health experts say people should avoid. Richard Zussman reports – Dec 28, 2020

The president of the BC Nurses’ Union says health-care workers are bracing for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases after the holidays.

On top of that, B.C.’s health ministry confirmed Sunday that a COVID-19 variant had been detected in a person in the Island Health region, who had recently arrived from the U.K., and started feeling symptoms while in quarantine.

Click to play video: 'Virus trends in B.C.'
Virus trends in B.C.

BCNU president Christine Sorensen said the variant of the virus is bringing more anxiety to nurses who are already understaffed and overworked.

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“Nurses have been challenged through this whole pandemic both physically and mentally, so certainly another new variation of this virus is concerning and adds to that challenge,” Sorensen said.

Read more: Visit restrictions amid COVID-19 caused ‘spike in depression’ in long-term care homes

She went on to say nurses are still having problems getting personal protective equipment.

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“We don’t know enough about this new variant,” Sorensen said. “Nurses are asking for unfettered access to PPE and unfortunately still having difficulties accessing N95 masks or other equipment to keep themselves and their patients safe.

Click to play video: 'B.C. nurse frustrated anti-mask rallies continue amid COVID-19 case surge'
B.C. nurse frustrated anti-mask rallies continue amid COVID-19 case surge

“That is the reality of this novel coronavirus, we don’t have enough information at hand and now we have a new variant.”


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