Long-term care staff limited to single site weeks ago: HHHS CEO

By Jenn Watt

As long-term care homes come under the microscope during the coronavirus pandemic with outbreaks happening at almost one in five across the province one factor that could help limit the spread is to restrict where staff work.

On Wednesday April 15 the Ontario government released details about an emergency order prohibiting workers in long-term care from working at more than one facility to take effect April 22.

At Haliburton Highlands Health Services CEO and president Carolyn Plummer said that practice has been in place locally for weeks.

“Nursing and PSW [personal support worker] staff have been limited to a single site within HHHS and we have ensured that we have no staff working at other LTC [long-term care] homes outside of HHHS” Plummer said in an email to the Echo . Planning began in mid-March with new staff schedules implemented March 23.

“We have also increased support services such as housekeeping and maintenance to enable separation as well – so there is no cross-over between hospital and LTC of staff at both Haliburton and Minden” she said. “HHHS recognized early in our process that this would be a necessity for patient/resident safety – hence the early call and postings for additional support staff and health-care workers.”

Long-term care homes have been closed to non-essential visitors for a month.