REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses is calling for a government inquiry into conditions at Extendicare Parkside, following 18 COVID-19-related deaths at the facility.

The union is expressing concerns about conditions found inside the facility that currently has 180 active cases among residents and staff.

“Very dirty, unkempt. The resident’s rooms were not clean and very cluttered, very disordered. Most of the equipment is in ill repair,” Tracy Zambory, the president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, said.

Outside nurses have been called into the facility to fill in for some of the 76 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. They were called in by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, which has taken over daily operations.

“The air quality in Parkside Extendicare is very, very poor and likely a great way transmission was happening. I mean the positivity rate of residents at Parkside Extendicare is 78 per cent. This is outrageous,” Zambory said.

The NDP opposition agrees with the call for an inquiry.

“The rates of transmission there, we’ve heard so many concerns about the lack of PPE available, the amount of staff that are available,” Vicki Mowat, the NDP health critic, said.

There was no immediate response from either the Government of Saskatchewan or Extendicare to the calls for an inquiry.