Another COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Maples Personal Care Home, which was hit hard during the pandemic.
Rhian Brynjolson’s uncle lived through that and is still living there now.
“He’s a vulnerable person, he has issues and so it’s always a concern,” said Brynjolson.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) confirmed as of Monday, 20 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and it has not recorded any healthcare associated infections among staff members. However, in a letter to family members, the Maples Personal Care Home said there are also 10 staff members who have infections.
“As a result of widespread vaccination and booster doses, as well as less severe strains of the virus and infection prevention and control measures, the majority of residents are exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms,” the WRHA said in a statement to CTV News.
The WRHA said a physician has been onsite daily and other staffing levels at Maples remain stable.
During the second wave of the pandemic, 56 residents died there during an outbreak.
So far Brynjolson’s uncle has tested negative, but she is concerned about staffing levels.
“I want to know what the regional health authority is doing to make sure the standard of care is adequate,” said Brynjolson.
The letter from the care home said as a result of the outbreak visitations are restricted in some wings and hairdressing appointments are suspended. It said residents are in good care and receiving daily assessments. It goes on to say staffing levels are at “baseline.”
The WRHA said Maples is among 17 long-term care sites currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. It said there are process in place to redeploy staff to personal care homes dealing with outbreaks as required and available.
Advocates say the outbreaks show Manitoba should still have mask and vaccine mandates in place to protect seniors.
Eddie Calisto-Tavares lost her father during the 2020 Maples Outbreak.
“Just because governments and others decide COVID is gone, it isn’t,” said Calisto-Tavares.
Unlike the second wave, many in care homes are fully vaccinated and are now receiving fourth doses.
Long Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba Executive Director Jan Legeros said screening and masking is taking place at these facilities. She said the public needs to step up to stop the spread by choosing to wear masks and get their shots.
“As far as government mandates, I think we’ve been there, and I think that now it’s time for each of us to take responsibility,” said Legeros
Rhian Brynjolson believes the province moved too fast when lifting mandates.
“I think we’re all anxious to end the mandates and have everything become normal but I’m not sure it was a good idea to let our guard down so quickly,” said Brynjolson.
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