Opposition NDP feels more control around long-term care homes in SK are needed

The Saskatchewan NDP wants the province to make sure staff at long term care and group homes are only working in one facility.

Opposition Leader Ryan Meili says federal guidelines recommend cohorting which means grouping staff by ward or by facility. He points out that other provinces, like B.C, have already taken this step and is urging the provincial government to do the same.

As well, the NDP say with many staff working in multiple facilities, it’s important to make sure staff don’t lose hours or income if the change is implemented.

Health critic Vicki Mowat says this is an area where there is understandably some great concern.

“There is a concern about what an outbreak in a long-term care home would look like and rightly so.” Mowat said Tuesday.

During the government’s daily briefing, Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said they do plan on “cohorting” as the opposition has suggested but doing that is harder than it looks for a variety of reasons including making sure no home is short-staffed as a result.

As for the positive numbers of late, it is something that has Meili smiling saying Saskatchewan people should be credited for doing what has to be done in these times to prevent the spread, but like many others he says now is not the time to look at those numbers and make the wrong decision to re-open everything.

“We are still very early and the risk is still very serious.” Meili said. “It would be premature to tell people to stop physical distancing as that could reverse those gains.”


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