Overworked and burning out: Ontario healthcare workers face COVID

Published On September 17, 2020 | By Francis Commey | COVID-19

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As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in Ontario, some health officials are fearing the arrival of a second wave.

As of Thursday Ontario appeared to be getting closer and closer to what many fear might be the inevitable resurgence of the virus after tallying the most COVID-19 cases since June with 293 new COVID-19 infections reported .

This afternoon Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford announced plans about reducing the limits of gathering in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa due to the recent bump of COVID cases.

“Difficult but necessary decision to declare a state of emergency in Ontario,” Ford said. ” We’ve seen two days this week of over 300 new cases within a 24 hour period, we’re seeing similar increases across the country”.

Jan Hyndman, office manager of Extendicare in Halton Hills, said Ontario is not ready for a second wave from a healthcare standpoint.

“I don’t think the government has done enough for healthcare workers in Ontario, especially at LTC [Long Term Care] centres. There just aren’t enough workers,” Hyndman said.

“The staff that are working are overworked and are burning out due to long hours and lack of staff, this includes direct care as well as indirect care,” he told Humber News.

Hyndman said personal protective equipment (PPE) is again running low as suppliers are having difficulty keeping up with demand.

Carm DiPeitro, the Resident Program Manager at Extendicare in Halton Hills, said routines have changed for a lot of nurses at her residential home.

“Work routines have changed because of COVID, for example wearing masks while caring for residents with dementia has caused an increase in anxiety for both residents and staff,” she said.

Yvonne Taylor, who works as a Behaviour Support PSW at the same Extendicare in Halton Hills, said there was just too much going on when mass cases of COVID started again.

“The government has not done enough for front line workers in terms of not being able to stop admissions early enough to reduce the risk of outbreaks,” Taylor said. “Though they have done well for the public in terms of the stages, as well as financial assistance such as CERB.”

Over the last two weeks, the number of cases in Ontario have been rising and the general public has been fearing for their health causing major concern about how another wave will look.

Dehshawn Fullington, a resident of Brampton, said he feared a second wave and believes it now appears like it’s coming.

“I’ve always had a bad feeling that the virus would return back stronger,” Fullington said. “I’m not really surprised of the high numbers again, but I’m trying my best to prepare myself and my family from being close to the virus.

“Sometimes it feels like the virus just won’t ever go away,” he said.

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