Winnipeg care home forced to call for back up from health authority

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg personal care home with more than half of its residents confirmed to be COVID-19 positive was forced to call the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and family members of residents for backup Thursday evening.

In an update on its website, the WRHA said, as of Thursday, 42 of the 81 residents at Golden Links Lodge were confirmed to have the virus.

Thursday evening, amid staffing challenges related to COVID-19, the home asked the WRHA for “additional and immediate support” to manage the outbreak.

“The home’s most pressing issue is a significant staffing challenge related to the COVID-19 outbreak,” the update said.

The WRHA said it made arrangements with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service to send a two-person EMS team for the evening and through the night. It said two physicians were onsite earlier on Thursday to assess residents and WRHA respiratory and community intravenous teams had also been onsite.

In addition, the facility asked the families of residents to send one person to monitor their loved one at their bedside for changes in their condition, and to connect with staff if any changes occur.

The WRHA said it was also reaching out to other health care sectors such as hospitals to help provide immediate assistance at the facility and that an exemption had been granted so staff members could be brought in from other personal care homes.

“All steps are being taken to ensure the care and safety of residents and staff now, and throughout the duration of this outbreak.”

An outbreak was declared at the home on November 11 and shortly thereafter, the WRHA placed a clinical management lead on site.

The WRHA said families should connect directly with Golden Links Lodge for more information or to discuss their loved one’s condition.

This WRHA site lead has been working collaboratively with management at the home to provide oversight and guidance on resident and clinical care aspects, staff scheduling, infection prevention and control practices, and family communication.

Further situational updates will be provided as necessary. 

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