WRHA PCH COVID-19 Status Update
March 23, 2021
The WRHA’s long-term care program funds and oversees the operations of 39 long-term care facilities, including 38 personal care homes (PCHs) and the St. Amant health care facility, in the Winnipeg health region.
The WRHA has implemented and is managing a comprehensive system-wide approach to protect and care for residents and staff at Winnipeg PCH facilities with CO VID-19 outbreaks. This involves careful, fluid coordination with WRHA clinical management, PCH management and staff, regional programs, and partners such as the Canadian Red Cross.
*Please note new updates will be published to this page twice weekly.
As of 9 am, March 23, there were active COVID-19 outbreaks at seven of Winnipeg’s 39 long-term care facilities.
An outbreak is declared following the identification of one positive case in either a resident, a staff member or an external service provider (example: agency staff).
Of the facilities with current outbreaks, two had at least one active resident case and four had at least one active staff case, as of 9 am, March 23, including one facility that had active cases among both residents and staff. Two facilities have no active cases among either residents or staff, yet remain under active outbreak.
An outbreak may be declared resolved after two incubation periods (28 days) following isolation of the last case. Where the outbreak involves only staff cases, it may be declared over after two incubation periods (28 days) following the last positive staff person’s last day at work while infectious.
There were two active COVID-19 cases among PCH residents and five among PCH staff in the Winnipeg region as of 9 am, March 23.
Four of the above cases (three staff and one resident) are either confirmed or probable variants of concern. As variant cases appear in the community, we do expect to see such cases in other settings, including personal care homes. Although such variant cases are not unexpected, we are closely monitoring the situation at PCHs with variant cases and ensuring adequate staffing and clinical supports are in place.
The presence of variants in our community is one more reason that we continue to encourage people to follow the fundamentals, including practicing hand hygiene, wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing, staying home when you're sick, and getting vaccinated when you become eligible. This will reduce transmission of the virus and ensure we protect our community.
For a complete list of facilities with active COVID-19 outbreaks, please scroll to the bottom of this post.
A message to our staff, residents, PCH partners, and our community:
The staff, managers, facility operators, and leadership in our long-term-care sector grieve deeply and sincerely for the loss of PCH residents who contracted the virus, and as fellow citizens of Winnipeg we share in the pain experienced by so many families in our community.
Staff at Winnipeg PCHs continue every day to step up and tirelessly ensure the care and safety of residents, despite the unprecedented and difficult situation. They have been understandably tired and worried at times, yet they persevere, and we would like to extend our sincere gratitude for their efforts.
Managers in Winnipeg’s personal care homes and long-term-care facilities, and the leadership of our long-term-care program, continue every day to consider best practices and implement measures according to clinical experts and established protocols. We will employ every feasible tool at our disposal to ensure outbreaks can be mitigated and controlled to the best of everyone’s ability.
We remain cautiously optimistic that the trend witnessed over the past few months towards a reduced number of outbreaks will hold, as more and more residents and staff members are vaccinated, and as the overall number of COVID-19 cases in our community stabilizes. Nevertheless, outbreaks at Winnipeg PCHs continue and we are monitoring the situation closely.
The second round of COVID-19 vaccinations in Winnipeg PCHs was completed last month.
The majority of Winnipeg PCHs have now also held their third vaccination clinics, in cooperation with the long-term care program and Public Health. These clinics are for new residents who require their first or second dose, and to complete vaccinations for residents who were ill or hospitalized during earlier vaccination clinics.
More than 4,800 Winnipeg PCH residents have now received two doses of COVID vaccine.
We would like to offer our thanks and congratulations to the Focused Immunization Teams, PCH staff and management, and everyone else who has assisted with the effort to immunize PCH residents in our community. You have made a valuable contribution in the fight against COVID-19 and helped protect the lives of thousands of people, and we are grateful for your efforts.
While some sites with outbreaks continue to identify staffing needs, staffing has largely stabilized across the region.
The number of PCHs requesting CIVP support and additional staff support continues to decrease, as does the number of PCHs requesting urgent staffing assistance. Nevertheless, we continue to monitor staffing closely. Processes are in place currently to ensure staffing assistance is available to PCHs if required.
Staff who had been redeployed to PCHs, largely from the Community Health Services sector, have now returned to their home sites, as the demand for staff to fill shifts in PCHs has significantly declined. We would like to commend all redeployed staff members who worked shifts in PCHs over the past few months. Your willingness to assist in the fight against COVID-19 outbreaks is tremendously appreciated.
The Provincial Recruitment and Redeployment Team (PRRT) continues to process applications for uncertified Health Care Aides – both those enrolled in the new Red River College (RRC) training program, and those not requiring training (e.g. those who are internationally trained or students in health sciences faculties).
On-site supports to PCHs and resident care:
A WRHA clinical lead is currently providing support to Heritage Lodge.
These site leads work with management at PCH facilities to provide oversight and guidance, and issues/ concerns are communicated to WRHA Long Term Care leadership regarding resident/ clinical care aspects, staffing resources, infection prevention and control practices, and family communication.
The WRHA clinical leads have also been assisting other additional PCHs with vaccine clinics and post-outbreak recovery planning, as well as assisting PCHs with preparatory planning for potential outbreaks in the future.
The Canadian Red Cross continues to be available to provide infection prevention and control guidance to PCHs. The Canadian Red Cross is not currently providing on-site support aides at any Winnipeg personal care homes.
PCHs can continue to access the WRHA community intravenous (CIVP) team, palliative care team, regional infection prevention and control staff, and respiratory therapy specialists to support COVID-19 residents with higher care needs.
Regular physician coverage and medical monitoring of residents continues to be provided onsite and virtually at any identified priority sites.
N95 fit-testing within licensed Personal Care Homes and Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities continues.
Management and Oversight
Regular situational update calls with the management teams of all PCHs and the WRHA long-term care program have been established to share information, progress and challenges in real-time.
The WRHA clinical leads providing oversight at PCHs in greatest need have regular status updates with WRHA leadership, to ensure resources are proactively directed to areas of greatest need. These clinical leads will be rotated to other sites or provide support to a cluster of sites, as needed and as the outbreak situation across WRHA PCH sites evolves.
Winnipeg PCHs currently experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks (as of March 23, 2021)
- Actionmarguerite St. Boniface
- Actionmarguerite St. Joseph
- Heritage Lodge
- Oakview Place
- River East PCH
- Riverview LTC
- Tuxedo Villa