Review into deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Manitoba care home released

WINNIPEG — After an independent review of the Maples Long Term Care Home, one of the hardest-hit care homes in Manitoba, the province has announced it is going to implement all recommendations put forward by the review.

The final report was written by Dr. Lynn Stevenson, who is a former associate deputy minister of British Columbia Health, offered a total of 17 recommendations for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the Health Incident Command Structure, Manitoba Health and Seniors Care, and Revera, the owner of Maples.

Stevenson said the facility had a pandemic plan in place, but the care home wasn’t prepared for a significant reduction in staff once they had been infected with COVID-19.

She also noted Maples wasn’t urgent enough for more on-site staffing support until the situation became critical.

Other problems found during the review include communication with families of residents was inconsistent, clinical care guidance was not available for ill residents, confusion developed due to several planning tables for pandemic preparedness and a “lack of adequate” experts in infection prevention and control to help deal with the outbreak.


Of the recommendations, six are specifically for the care home and Revera.

Stevenson said the care home should revise the outbreak plan “to ensure the ability to operationalize it.” She also included making clear care priorities during an outbreak situation, have additional resources on-site to deploy at the beginning of an outbreak, making sure physician rounds are in place when an outbreak has been declared, making sure housekeeping is done as it is an essential service in a care home, and lastly, improving communication for stakeholders.

Health and Seniors Minister Heather Stefanson said many of the recommendations are already being addressed, even before the report was released.

The care home had a COVID-19 outbreak that started on Oct. 20, 2020, and it was declared over on Jan. 12.

During that time, 74 staff members were infected along with 157 residents. Of those infected, 56 people died due to the outbreak.

The full report can be read here.

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