COVID-19 isolation unit opening at Selkirk Mental Health Centre to deal with surge

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s chief nursing officer says the province is increasing its capacity for COVID-19 patients who require mental health care.

On Friday, Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health, said the province has had to make changes to the way it cares for COVID-19 patients who also need mental health services.

She said previously, anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 and required mental health services were admitted to the Health Sciences Centre, but due to surging cases that is now changing.

Siragusa said a 10-bed isolation unit at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre is being opened specifically for medically stable mental health patients who are COVID-positive.

“This unit will work very much in collaboration with Health Sciences Center mental health program,” Siragusa said.

She said acute patients having any mental health and addiction issues, or any complex care needs will continue to go to the Health Sciences Centre, regardless of whether they are COVID-positive or not.

“They will work collaboratively to manage the patient flow based on the needs,” she said.

Siragusa said it is important for Manitobans to know they are still able to access their mental health and wellness supports, especially in emergency situations.

She said more information about those supports, including contact information and hours of operation, can be found on the Shared Health website

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