SUN calls for public inquiry at Regina’s Parkside Extendicare

The conditions at a Regina care home currently battling a COVID-19 outbreak has prompted the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses to push for a public inquiry.

Parkside Extendicare is the location of the province’s largest outbreak at this time, which resulted in the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Parkside establishing a co-management agreement so the SHA could step in and assist. Requests for assistance were then made for people to volunteer at the care home since the virus dwindled their staffing numbers over the last couple weeks.

Tracy Zambory, president of SUN, said they have heard from their members who were called in to help with the situation that the facility is in “absolute turmoil.” She added how the health care workers at Parkside are doing the best they can with what they have while trying hard to keep people’s dignity, but it has turned chaotic.

“It’s filthy dirty. They took out three sea cans of garbage over the weekend and had to do a deep clean,” explained Zambory. “Our members have to wear N95 masks and can only take them off for 15 minutes at a time because the air quality is so poor there.”

She continued by saying what is happening at Parkside Extendicare is an “abomination” for the residents and workers.

“Our members were experiencing broken essential equipment. They were pronouncing so many people dead, that by the time they got to the last one, they didn’t even know the person’s name.”

The positivity rate for COVID-19 among residents at Parkside is at 78 per cent.

Zambory admitted things have improved since the co-management agreement with the SHA, but she said the mental stress for the health care workers is “at a breaking point.”

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