By: Mike Anderson

Twelve health-care workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in York Region, according to York Region Public Health.

This comes as York Region is appealing to local businesses to donate any unused, unopened and unexpired supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

“Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increasing need for personal protective equipment, items crucial to the response for paramedics and first responders, local hospitals and staff working in long-term care and retirement homes,” reads the media release issued by the Region on March 26.

“Health and safety is our top priority, especially for those on the front lines combating this pandemic,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson.

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“I am urging local businesses to help keep our communities safe by donating personal protective equipment they have not currently in use.”

The release lists some of the most needed supplies:

  • Respirators
  • N95 masks
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Disposable impermeable gowns / isolation gowns
  • General surgical masks
  • Earloop procedure masks
  • Earloop face masks with shield
  • Hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant
  • Sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes
  • Infrared thermometers
  • Safety goggles
  • Face mask shields
  • Gentle Rain (Refill cartridges for wall dispensers)
  • Remedy no-rinse Peri spray
  • Accel and/or Cavi wipes

If you have items to donate, contact COVID19@york.ca to confirm.

Meanwhile, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in York Region rose by 25 today, bringing the total to 137, as of 5.45 p.m. on March 26.

There are two new cases in Newmarket, both travel-related; one is self-isolating, the other is listed as under-investigation.

York is also reporting three new cases under-investigation in Aurora, all are in self-isolation.

There are still no cases listed for Georgina.

According to York’s website, there are eight cases hospitalized.

But those numbers do not seem to correlate with data posted by York Region hospitals, including Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Southlake alone lists five positive cases in intensive care, with another two awaiting test results.

There are also 41 inpatients waiting for test results.

Testing backlogs are becoming a serious issue, with labs being overwhelmed by increased testing around the province.

York Region Public Health’s social media posts on March 22 say patients should expect test results within 5 days.

Test results are now taking ten days to come back, according to spokesperson from the region.

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