Nearly 160 people who work at Winnipeg personal care homes are currently fighting COVID-19.

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Nearly 160 people who work at Winnipeg personal care homes are currently fighting COVID-19.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority provided an update on the current situation in the city’s 39 personal care homes — 28 of which are dealing with an outbreak of the novel coronavirus — late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the region, most have fewer than five active cases. However, Golden Links Lodge, Holy Family Home, Maples, Parkview Place, Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre, and St. Norbert personal care home are all grappling with severe outbreaks.

The WRHA said, as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, 159 long-term care staff are considered active COVID-19 cases, and many more are in self-isolation at home or awaiting the results of a test.

"Staffing is, as a result, very challenged with ongoing monitoring and management. As part of these efforts, the WRHA has established a central process to manage and prioritize requests from PCHs for additional staff resources," the WRHA said.

"We have activated our hub model, which partners PCHs with hospitals and the WRHA's community area offices in geographic hubs to share resources and facilitate staff being redeployed to PCHs in need."

Home care staff and community health providers have been redeployed to personal care homes with staffing shortages, and staff at Victoria General Hospital have been providing additional support at St. Norbert.

The WRHA is also rolling back services, including outpatient clinics, day hospitals, community health programs and home care, to redeploy staff to the personal care homes.

It is developing a "rapid response" standby pool of nurses and health-care aides who can be available to work with little notice in emergent and urgent situations.

"This flexibility in the health-care system allows us to focus our staffing resources on the areas of greatest need, which is necessary during these unprecedented and difficult times," the region said.

Meanwhile, the WRHA is also keeping a close eye on Fred Douglas Lodge, Beacon Hill Lodge, Charleswood Care Centre, Oakview Place, and Bethania Mennonite personal care home.

"These sites have a significant number of pending test results for both residents and staff, which could impact their outbreak management response," the region said.

Staffing has stabilized at Maples and Parkview Place, the region said.

Support aides from the Canadian Red Cross are currently at Maples, and plans are in place to deploy Red Cross staff to Golden Links Lodge and St. Norbert later this week or next, the region said.

Holy Family Home is also conducting an assessment with the Red Cross.

The WRHA currently has on-site clinical leads at Golden Links Lodge, Maples, Parkview Place, St. Norbert, Simkin Centre, and Holy Family Home. Clinical leads meet daily with WRHA leadership to provide updates, the region said.

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.