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Western Canadian provinces see increase in COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers in Canada triples in past 6 months' COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers in Canada triples in past 6 months
Western Canadian provinces see rise in COVID-19 infection rate among healthcare workers rate since July, 2020 – Feb 26, 2021

The number of COVID-19 infections among Canadian healthcare workers has tripled in the past six months.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia sit at the highest infection rate of workers, according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Read more: ‘We are not superhuman’: Health-care workers plead for more mental health support

In Canada, between mid-January 2020 until nearly the end of July, there were just over 21,000 cases reported among healthcare workers in the country. Between July 23, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021, that number increased to nearly 66,000 healthcare workers.

The rate of healthcare workers that have been infected by COVID-19 has seen a major increase since July 23, 2020. Canadian Institute for Health Information

CIHI says that of the infections, the numbers don’t show whether the virus was contracted at a hospital or healthcare facility or not.

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Total number of COVID-19 cases in healthcare workers between Jan. 15, 2020, and July 23, 2020

Canadian Institute for Health Information. Canadian Institute for Health Information

Total number of COVID-19 cases in healthcare workers between Jan. 15, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021

Canadian Institute for Health Information. Canadian Institute for Health Information

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 24 health care workers have died from COVID-19 — including 12 in the last six months in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.

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According to a questionnaire by Statistics Canada, 81 per cent of Canadian participants said that they had received formal training on infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols for their job.

Read more: COVID-19 positivity rate for Alberta health-care workers sits at 5.5%

The survey also showed that 60 per cent of workers who required respirators like N95 masks for their jobs reported that they were always available when needed during the second wave.

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Meanwhile, 57 per cent of people said they believed their employers put sufficient emphasis on staying home when sick and made supports available to do so.

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