Joey’s Notepad: The Risk of Classroom Outbreaks to HSR Staffing Levels

Joey Coleman/The Public Record

HSR operators reporting for morning shift at the HSR garage in late December 2017.

Every organization is planning what to do in the face of staff shortages caused by COVID self-isolation requirements.

Tonight, Hamilton’s hospital CEO issued an urgent “personal appeal to all healthcare workers who have availability tonight and in the coming days” to fill shifts to keep the hospitals operating.

Earlier this evening, I wrote on the HSR’s planning to deal with a potential shortage of bus operators.

This blog/notepad post adds to the HSR story.

A large number of the HSR’s bus operators live in Caledonia and surrounding communities in Haldimand County.

It is where they could purchase homes for the past decade, with an easy commute along Highway 6 to the HSR’s garage in Mount Hope.

Many of these operators have school-aged children.

We should expect the spread of COVID between children with the return to school next week.

Ontario’s COVID measures require entire families to self-isolate if any member of the household has COVID symptoms – there is no testing available, families are to presume they are dealing with COVID and isolate.

There are HSR operators who are married to each other, a child with COVID symptoms in these situations means two fewer operators able to report for work.

It is likely that some classrooms in Caledonia include multiple children whose parents are HSR operators.

You get the picture, with single degrees of separation and the likelihood that the COVID Omnicron variant is going to rapidly spread this January, the HSR’s planning for staffing shortages is prudent.

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