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'Health system is crashing as we speak:' Registered nurses' association demanding more of province

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario wants to see more support for people who can't afford to stay at home and self-isolate.

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) thinks the Ford government's latest response to the COVID-19 pandemic is 'too little, too late,' and is calling on it to take further action to slow the spread of the virus.

RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun is calling on Ontario's leaders to provide more support for people who are sick and/or need to self-isolate.

"The premier is saying a lot of good words, but he needs to put the systems of support [in place] so people can actually comply, and we can get a hold of this virus," she explains. "The health system is crashing as we speak."

Grinspun calls on the Ford government to reinstate the paid sick leave it abolished after taking office in 2018. 

While a federal paid sick leave has recently been announced, Grinspun says it takes a couple of weeks to begin payments, and that people in precarious employment situations (such as casual and part-time workers who can't afford to stay home without any income).

"It takes time to apply and to get the money," says Grinspun. "If you want people to go and get tested, and if you want people to stay at home while they receive results... then you need that."

Grinspun would also like to see the province provide more assistance to people who need to self-isolate, but live in large households, to prevent them from spreading the virus to the rest of their families.

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