Hot topics close

Union representing staff at Hamilton's Grace Villa describes 'horrible' outbreak

Ricardo McKenzie describes deplorable conditions at the long-term care home, including 'IV bags that are left on the floors, residents in feces not being cleaned.'

A union representative for long-term care workers at Grace Villa — the site of Hamilton’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak — has offered a glimpse inside the embattled home.

Ricardo McKenzie with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) calls the situation at Grace Villa “horrible.”

Read more: Grace Villa gets added support from Hamilton Health Sciences to battle COVID-19 outbreak

McKenzie says the staffing had reached a “crisis” level, prior to Hamilton Health Sciences temporarily taking over operations of the East Mountain facility earlier this week, under a 90-day, voluntary management contract.

McKenzie describes deplorable conditions, including “IV bags that are left on the floors, residents in feces not being cleaned.”

Within the 184-bed facility, McKenzie says, a combined total of 173 residents and staff of Grace Villa have been infected with COVID-19, 21 of the residents have died.

Story continues below advertisement

He says workers have asked for testing of the home’s ventilation system, “because they couldn’t explain for themselves, why the hell the virus is spreading so rapidly.”

Trending Stories

  • What’s in Pfizer’s vaccine? A look at the ingredients

  • Entire Trans Mountain expansion work halted until 2021 after workers killed, injured on the job

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

McKenzie says they don’t know yet if the operator will comply with that request.

Read more: Coronavirus: Hamilton reports new daily high, 162 COVID-19 cases

He adds that front-line staff are “holding the ship afloat, but unfortunately, they’re very tired.”

The snapshot of the situation at Grace Villa came during the Ontario Health Coalition’s release of a survey of members who are working within long-term care homes that have experienced large outbreaks.

OHC Executive Director Natalie Mehra said less than 30 per cent of those on the front lines say they have “enough staffing to provide daily hands-on care to residents.”

Click to play video 'Premier Doug Ford outlines Ontario’s new long-term care staffing plan' 2:46Premier Doug Ford outlines Ontario’s new long-term care staffing plan
Premier Doug Ford outlines Ontario’s new long-term care staffing plan

Among the other findings, said Mehra, 14.7 per cent of respondents said that COVID-19-positive but asymptomatic staff are being required to work and 14.6 per cent said COVID-19-positive residents are not being separated from those who are not infected with the virus.

Story continues below advertisement

The coalition’s survey involved employees at dozens of long-term care homes across Ontario, including Grace Villa.

View link »

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Similar news
  • Healthcare union calls for military's help with 'warzone' conditions at Grace Villa
This week's most popular news