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Nursing homes hiring those recently laid off to maintain staffing levels


April 16, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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One of the largest long-term care facilities in Atlantic Canada is trying to maintain sufficient staffing levels by recruiting people who lost their jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the Canadian economy.

Janet Simm, the CEO of Halifax-based Northwood, says staffing remains challenging as 80 people are currently off work.

Simm says the centre’s pandemic relief team has already recruited 40 new employees, including workers from the devastated food-services industry to help the centre’s dieticians and food preparation staff.

Michele Lowe, managing director of the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association, says the 78 long-term care facilities her organization represents faced staffing shortages long before the virus was first reported in the province.

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Lowe says maintaining staffing levels remains a challenge, but she stresses that most facilities have their own recruiting teams in place.

Nova Scotia health officials say that as of Wednesday, there were seven licensed long-term care homes in the province with cases of COVID-19, affecting 42 residents and 23 staff.