Kitchener-Waterloo

New poll shows Kitchener-Waterloo residents unhappy with province's COVID-19 response

Fifty-four per cent of Kitchener-Waterloo residents who participated in a recent poll believe the Ontario government did not plan well for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

54% of respondents to CUPE poll say government didn’t do well in its planning

Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE, says testing for COVID-19 in Ontario is lagging, adding that other countries with aggressive testing have many fewer deaths. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

Fifty-four per cent of Kitchener-Waterloo residents who participated in a recent poll believe the Ontario government did not plan well for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The poll, conducted for the CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario earlier this spring, was released on Monday.

According to the poll, nearly 600 people in Kitchener-Waterloo, Stratford, Guelph and London say the provincial government is underperforming in how it is dealing with the pandemic response.

OCHU/CUPE president Michael Hurley said the government has turned a blind eye and has a lot to answer for.

"LTC care staff have loudly told the premier and his ministers that they are often denied PPE or told to ration and reuse masks and gowns," Hurley said. 

COVID-19 claimed lives of 12 health-care workers

As of May 26 — 4,485 health-care workers were infected with COVID-19. Twelve of them have died. 

Among the findings of the poll:

  • 53 per cent of respondents believe the government should move long-term care residents ill with COVID-19 symptoms to hospital for treatment and to protect other residents.
  • 58 per cent of respondents believe the provincial government did not plan properly for the pandemic.
  • 73 per cent of respondents say the Ontario government needs to toughen its standards for protecting health care staff at work.
  • 79 per cent of respondents support the Ontario government using its emergency powers to order Ontario industry to make this equipment
  • 53 per cent of respondents say health-care staff should have their protections back.
  • 77 per cent of respondents would like to see Ontario significantly increase testing.
  • 79 per cent of respondents think all hospital  and long-term care patients and staff should be tested for COVID-19.
How residents responded when asked: Do you think all hospital patients and staff should be tested for Covid-19? (CUPE)

"This government cancelled inspections of long-term care facilities last year at the request of the long- term care industry and has effectively prevented long-term care residents with COVID-19 from being transferred to hospital," Hurley said.

Meanwhile, Hurley said testing for COVID-19 in Ontario is lagging, adding that other countries with aggressive testing have many fewer deaths. 

404 new cases of COVID-19  in Ontario

Ontario reported 404 additional cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which is a 1.5 per cent jump in newly-confirmed infections.

The new cases come as the number of tests processed dropped below the province's target of 16,000 after four straight days of surpassing the benchmark.

Ontario's network of about 20 labs processed 14,379 samples on Sunday. It has the capacity to complete up to 25,000 on any given day, according to the Ministry of Health. The backlog of test samples waiting to be processed sits at 6,427.

now