Posted on Aug 10, 2020
UCP MUST ADDRESS STAFFING AT GOOD SAMARITAN OR RISK MORE LIVES LOST
EDMONTON – Jason Kenney and the UCP must step in and directly address staff challenges at the site of Alberta’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak before the virus spreads and more lives are lost.
Instead of addressing staff shortages directly, the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre has been granted an exemption to rules prohibiting staff from working in more than one facility in order to maintain proper staffing levels. Staff account for a third of all active cases at the facility and management has now arranged for staff from other facilities to cover off shifts, risking transmission to other care homes.
“Jason Kenney and the UCP government keep repeating the same mistakes, learning nothing from the COVID-19 outbreaks that have decimated seniors homes in our province,” said Alberta NDP Health Critic David Shepherd. “Sharing staff between facilities risks transmission, and ultimately, risks lives.”
Although a formal order to take over the site was considered as early as July 27th, Alberta Health Services claimed it was ultimately “not necessary”. There have been 26 deaths at the site in less than two months.
“We must do everything we can to protect our loved ones and that means the government must step in to address staffing at the Good Samaritan immediately. This cannot wait any longer,” said Shepherd.
As of August 7th, 81 residents and 32 employees at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.