Sask. nurses ask public to give them a 'fighting chance' against COVID-19
A nurse holds a swabs and test tube kit to test people for COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the new coronavirus, at a drive through station. (Paul Sancya/AP)
SASKATOON -- It’s imperative that people stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) President Tracy Zambory says.
“Registered nurses, doctors, licensed practical nurses, all the healthcare team and all of the other essential workers - like people who are working to keep our grocery stores open, our pharmacies open, our gas stations open - we need to social distance, we need to practice social solidarity,” she told CTV News.
“This is imperative to give registered nurses and doctors a fighting chance to bend the curve on COVID. We need the full cooperation of the public. We need people to stay home. If you don’t need to go out, don’t. Social distance when you are out and if you're not feeling well you must self-isolate. Please. Our lives depend on it.”
Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer on Tuesday said there is evidence of community transmission in four of the province's 72 cases of COVID-19. One case is in Regina, two are in Saskatoon and one is in central Saskatchewan.
Zambory also said a lack of personal protective equipment is top of mind for all healthcare workers. It’s needed by anyone who deals with a presumptive or confirmed COVID patient and anyone near that person.
The province’s equipment is being rationed at a time when Saskatchewan is nowhere near the peak of the possible number of patients, she said. She attributes the shortage to poor planning.
She pointed to Italy, where due to poor planning and attitudes the biggest vector of infection is health care institutions.
“We do not want to see that happen here.”
SHA infrastructure management director Derek Miller said last week that getting N95 masks - which Zambory says is the most protective piece of equipment- to frontline workers is a priority.