Key sectors facing staffing difficulties amid an escalating pandemic


Posted on Friday, January 7, 2022 at 5:14 am EST


Last updated Friday, January 7, 2022 5:14 AM EST

With the latest wave of COVID-19 showing few signs of abating, concerns are growing as more workers in vital industries are sidelined by the pandemic.

In Ontario, where the number of hospitalized COVID patients has increased fivefold in just two weeks to 2,279, many hospitals are reporting massive staff absences due to COVID-19 diagnoses.

Outbreaks in long-term care homes across the province have resulted in staff absences by 20-30% in some areas as the highly infectious Omicron variant of COVID increases the number of cases. Anthony Dale, president of the Ontario Hospital Association, calls the situation dire.

In Quebec, the government says about 20,000 healthcare workers have lost their jobs after testing positive or being exposed to the virus. And four federal prisons in the province now say they are “very close” to experiencing staff shortages for the same reason.

New Brunswick hospitals say they are also struggling with staffing issues due to coronavirus infections.

In addition to the health care sector, police forces in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg face similar staffing challenges, as do Winnipeg Transit and the Prince Rupert Fire Department in northwestern Montreal. British Columbia.

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