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Posted: January 5, 2021

(January 4, 2021)

By: Rob Hindi, AM800 CKLW


Tracey Ramsey speaks to the media, July 9, 2018. (Photo by AM800’s Kristylee Varley)

The co-chair of the Windsor Health Coalition says the region is devastated by the loss of a local health care worker.

Tracey Ramsey says Sheila Yakovishin was a Unifor member who spent more than 30 years caring for people.

Yakovishin passed away on December 31 at the age of 60 from COVID-19.

Ramsey says the death is heartbreaking and unacceptable.

She says workers need to be protected along with residents at long-term care and retirement homes.

“Watching the numbers climb in long-term care, seeing that spike over the holidays in not just numbers but the amount of long-term care and retirement homes that are in outbreak really has everyone in a very bad place,” says Ramsey.

She says the coalition continues to call on the province to assist the area.

Ramsey believes military support is needed along with support from the Red Cross.

“With 20 homes in outbreak right now and five of them at 50 per cent or very near to that in outbreak, we don’t have the capacity locally to be able to support the needs of these homes or the people that live inside of them,” she says.

Ramsey says half of the long-term care homes in Ontario are in a COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s devastating to see how many workers have been infected as well and at this point we are calling relentlessly on the provincial government to act, we’re calling on the health unit to issue Section 29 orders on these homes, to protect workers and residents and it’s just falling on deaf ears at the provincial level,” says Ramsey.

Unifor says Yakovishin was a member of Local 2458 and worked at Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor for more than 30-years.

The local health unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the long-term care home on December 11.

There are currently 20 long term care and retirement homes in Windsor-Essex under a COVID-19 outbreak.

There are 44 homes in the region.

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