Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic hit Ontario, 2,892 health care workers, as of last week, have been infected with COVID-19. Those on the health care front lines now account for 15.8% of the province’s COVID cases. The number is trending up, not down. Four of them have died.
On Wednesday, May 6, hospital, long-term care and home care nurses, personal support workers (PSWs), cleaners and administrative staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) took part in a workplace action, protesting the lack of protections and calling on the Premier for help. Supplies are dangerously low in hospitals and long-term care homes where 1,003 residents have sadly died.
The protest came as the Ontario government was gearing up to partially lift the lockdown, resume surgeries and re-open some businesses.
However, the long-promised masks, particularly N95 and other personal protective equipment (PPE) have not arrived. Ontario faces this protective equipment shortage and yet the government has not ordered industry to manufacture the needed supplies.