With 100 staff sidelined by COVID, Horizon Health puts out calls for volunteers to deploy in Zones 2 and 3
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- As cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick continue to climb, Horizon Health is sounding the alarm over staffing.
With an "urgent" need at the Saint John Regional Hospital and testing centres in Saint John and Fredericton, the health authority is now looking for current staff to volunteer for a 15-day deployment to these facilities.
"Thirty-five as of today have been redeployed throughout Horizon, so predominantly to Saint John and Fredericton and then an additional 42 are waiting to be redeployed," said Kerry Kennedy,Horizon's manager of recruitment and workforce management.
As of midnight on Thursday, more than a hundred Horizon staff are off work because of COVID-19.
The majority of those in Zone 2, which has the highest number of active cases in the province.
Horizon has also put out the call to students and retirees to help with the outbreak, if needed.
"We have currently 200 applications that we're going through of interest and we've sent out offer letters to close to 30 now," Kennedy said.
New Brunswick reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
On the Parkland Saint John campus, where public health has declared an outbreak, more cases have been reported.
According to Shannex, there are now a total of nine positive cases -- three employees and six residents.
Dr. Jeff Steeves, the president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, says the province is at a crossroads and the next two weeks will be critical.
"We've gone to orange in three regions and you sort of hope when you look at the last three or four days that maybe we've crested with a one to one reproductivity rate and we'll see that number go down," said Steeves.
There are 114 active cases in the province.