WRHA PCH COVID-19 Status Update
July 7, 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 COVID-19 outbreaks. This involves careful, fluid coordination with WRHA clinical management, PCH management and staff, regional programs, and community partners.
As of 9 am, July 7, there were no PCHs with a declared active COVID-19 outbreak among Winnipeg’s 39 long-term care facilities.
For COVID-19, an outbreak is defined and declared with a total of two cases (staff, resident, visitor), epi-linked within 14 days of each other, and where at least one could have been acquired in the long-term care site.
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 will continue to monitor the situation closely, as well as take all the necessary steps to protect residents and staff, and to prevent future outbreaks in our long-term care facilities.
Winnipeg PCHs have collectively held a total of 212 vaccination clinics since January 2021, in cooperation with the long-term care program and Public Health. Clinics continue 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.
As of July 5, 5,335 first doses of COVID vaccine have been administered to Winnipeg PCH residents, while 5,401 Winnipeg PCH residents have now received two doses of 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.
Fully immunized Manitobans now have increased social visitation privileges at personal care homes, with proof of immunization.
These principles are in accordance with current infection prevention and control measures and public health advice. All PCHs are expected to follow these principles, although implementation may differ from site to site. Families should check ahead with their individual facility to plan visits.
PCHs are operationalizing in a number of ways and visitors wishing to participate in this expanded social visitation will be asked to show proof of vaccination along with proof of identity. Multiple options for proof of vaccination are acceptable, including a QR code copy or paper copy of a Manitoba immunization card, or a vaccine record available through the Shared Health Online Results Portal. Families should check ahead with their PCH to determine which forms of proof of immunization are being accepted at the facility.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors and residents are still provided the option of outdoor visits and use of visitation shelters. Visitation principles continue to support the role and importance of designated family caregivers as essential partners in the care of residents.
While some sites continue to identify staffing needs, staffing is largely stable across the region.
Nevertheless, we continue to monitor staffing closely. Processes are in place currently to ensure staffing assistance is available to PCHs if required.
On-site supports to PCHs and resident care:
A WRHA clinical lead continues to be available to PCHs as needed.
This site leads works 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.
WRHA clinical leads have also been assisting PCHs with vaccine clinics and post-outbreak recovery planning, as well as assisting PCHs with preparatory planning for potential outbreaks in the future.
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.