As Connecticut’s nursing home workers continue their pleas for personal protective equipment, some are now saying their employers are not only short on supplies but hoarding them.
“They're hiding them, I don’t understand why they have them in boxes,” Yvonne Robinson, a CNA said.
The Department of Health said Friday it's following up on the complaints with calls, on-site visits and Facetime calls asking administrators to show them their stock of PPE and how accessible it is to staff members.
While regular on-site visits from DPH and mandated daily status updates from nursing homes started this week, union leaders say that’s not enough to protect workers.
“Members of our union have had to institute job actions at probably 40 to 50 different nursing facilities because the management at those facilities at one point or another has been hoarding personal protective equipment,” Rob Baril, President of the New England Health Care Employees Union said.
Baril says three of its members have died from COVID-19 and at least 1,000 workers have tested positive.
The union said Friday that 15 of its union nursing homes are on the verge of a staffing collapse.
“We still have a unit specific inside of our corporate office to handle call outs and manage staffing,” Dave Skoczulek with Touchpoints of Bloomfield said.
Skoczulek says in light of staffing challenges, Touchpoints of Bloomfield has now hired 70 workers mostly from out of state to help fill the gap.