Providence Health Centre. Photo by Michael Swan

COVID-positivity on the rise in Catholic health workers

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  • January 7, 2022

The number of COVID-positive doctors, nurses and other clinical staff at Toronto’s Catholic hospitals has crept up into the hundreds, Toronto’s Unity Health has told The Catholic Register.

“As of Friday, Jan. 7, a total of 230 staff and physicians (of our 8,550 full and part-time staff and 850 physicians) are COVID positive. We estimate that 200 to 300 are in isolation daily due to an exposure,” Unity Health said in an emailed statement. “This number is fluid as our teams process test results or respond to sick calls.”

Provincially, Ontario reported 2,472 people with COVID-19 in hospital on Jan. 7 — a pandemic high. The previous record was 2,360 on April 20, 2021. The number of admissions to intensive care has also increased again.

Unity, which manages St. Michael’s, Providence and St. Joseph’s hospitals, is facing “challenges of capacity pressures, increasing patient acuity and critical staff shortages,” said the statement.

Current absences of staff amount to about 2.5 per cent of Unity’s workforce and the hospitals continue to function as the Omicron wave rolls through.

“Despite these challenges, now more than ever, working in health care is a true calling. Our teams are strong and we will continue to get through this together,” wrote a Unity spokesperson.

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