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“I saw the magnitude of the impact on people – not just the infected people,” said Zhang.
His work has effectively turned to remote services like phone and video calls, he said. But he is concerned for people with mental health issues like schizophrenia, especially those living in group care homes vulnerable to an epidemic.
“Because they eat together, they live together, they spend time together, the risk of getting sick is so much higher,” said Zhang, noting that some residents may also not understand the need for physical distance.
In a statement sent by email, a spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Health Authority wrote that licensed mental health home operators were all trained in sanitation standards and that patients could be isolated in a private room if they fell ill.