Winnipeg’s personal care homes turning the corner in COVID-19 battle

The latest update on the coronavirus crisis in local care homes, provided by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority on Friday night, was a good one.

Only nine care homes are seeing active cases of COVID-19 within their walls — just three of those are reporting cases affecting their residents.

A dozen personal care home (PCH) residents in Winnipeg are actively suffering from the virus, while seven staff spread across six homes are also reporting an active case.

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Fourteen of the city’s 39 long-term care facilities are still reporting outbreaks.

Those can linger for up to 28 days, or two of the virus’ incubation periods, after the last active case has been resolved.

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For the first time in months, no Winnipeg long-term care homes are reporting “large-scale” outbreaks of more than five active cases.

The last remaining instance, located at Southeast PCH, is now under that threshold, though the Canadian Red Cross was deployed there on Thursday to provide infection prevention and control assessments.

Southeast and Concordia Place are still being staffed by WRHA clinical leads.

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“These site leads work with management at PCH facilities to provide oversight and guidance and communicate issues to WRHA leadership regarding resident/clinical care aspects, staffing resources, infection prevention and control practices, and family communication,” the health authority says.

The WRHA says the overall staffing situation is stabilizing, in part thanks to a staffing pool that’s redeployed employees to long-term care homes helping to fill more than 2,100 shifts in the past several weeks.

The improving situation is a reflection of the city’s current position in it’s battle with the virus.

Read more: Manitoba coronavirus case count passes 30,000, 1 new death reported Friday

Test positivity rates in Winnipeg have dropped from a peak of 13 per cent in late 2020, to 3.5 per cent as of Friday’s provincial update.

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The first licensed PCH’s visited by Manitoba’s focused immunizers in January are getting ready for the second round of resident vaccinations, which should begin on Monday.

Those teams gave at least 4,800 Winnipeg PCH residents their first jab in the arm over a three-week stretch ending on Jan. 30, an uptake rate of 93.5 per cent.

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As of 9 a.m. Friday, the list of Winnipeg PCH’s dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks includes:

  • Beacon Hill Lodge
  • Bethania PCH
  • Charleswood Care Centre
  • Concordia Place
  • Convalescent Home of Winnipeg
  • Deer Lodge Centre (LTC)
  • Donwood Manor
  • Golden Door Geriatric Centre
  • Golden West Centennial Lodge
  • Holy Family Home
  • Poseidon Care Centre
  • River East
  • Southeast PCH
  • Tuxedo Villa
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