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Health-care sector outline devastating COVID toll on working conditions, mental health

To date, COVID-19 has sickened close to 9,000 front-line health-care workers and killed 16. Bermix Studio

Ontario’s health-care workers say the government has abandoned them in their desperate, anxiety-ridden struggle to cope with COVID-19.

A small-scale study by two researchers released today suggests the workers are burned out and frightened.

Those interviewed – nurses, personal support workers and others – say they still lack personal protective equipment despite the very real risks they face.

RELATED: Burlington hospital declares COVID-19 outbreak, four test positive

To date, COVID-19 has sickened close to 9,000 front-line health-care workers and killed 16.

During the first half of the pandemic, nearly one-in-five diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Canada were in health-care workers, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information. A top concern, health care workers say, is a lack of protective equipment.

Still, some say they face reprisals for speaking out over working conditions in hospitals or long-term care homes.

The researchers point out that many of the staff are women with no job security.

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