April 14th, 2020

Government must stem outbreaks by stopping staff from working at multiple care homes

Revera staff told to continue working at more than one care home

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s wrong that the government has continued with a system in which people work at multiple seniors facilities, which has helped the deadly COVID-19 virus sweep through one care home after another. Despite dozens of outbreaks in long-term care and other living facilities for frail and vulnerable people, large care home owners are still telling staff to work at multiple homes.

“In the case of workers who work at multiple Revera sites, they are to continue working at both until there is an outbreak at one facility and at that time will be asked to choose a facility,” according to an email from Revera's Human Resources department. Revera is a massive long-term care and retirement home corporation.

“The time will come to evaluate the damage done by allowing this practice to continue for weeks during a pandemic,” said Horwath. “But today, we have to stop it. The government has to step in and stop workers from working in more than one care home, which risks bringing the virus from one facility to another.

“It’s not enough for the government to just lament that low-pay and part-time hours for staff is forcing workers to take three jobs. Fix it. Give them better pay. Give them better hours. It will save lives.”

The memo obtained by the Official Opposition was sent from Revera Inc. was sent April 3 to a representative from the union representing long-term care staff.