Nearly half of Manitoba’s COVID-19 deaths have been linked to outbreaks in long-term care homes.
As of Monday, 113 Manitobans had lost their lives in the viral outbreaks, which have spread to nearly 50 personal care facilities across the province. They’re among the total of 236 Manitobans who have died of COVID-19 since the spring.
The crisis at two of the largest and hardest-hit long-term care homes, Parkview Place and Maples, both in Winnipeg, has prompted Manitoba’s health minister to call for independent investigations into their operations.
The province recorded a record-high number of COVID-19 cases Monday, and announced seven new deaths — three were long-term care residents.
One of those fatal cases was at Maples, which has the highest death toll among such facilities and has had virtually all of its residents become infected with the novel coronavirus.
There have been 220 cases at Maples: 153 residents have been infected and 47 of them have died of the virus, according to data provided by the provincial government Monday. That means more than 20 per cent of Maples residents have died of COVID-19.
Ontario-based Revera Inc., which runs Parkview Place, Maples and several other long-term care facilities in Manitoba and throughout Canada, previously acknowledged a delay in reporting the deaths of 11 residents to public health officials in the first two weeks of November, saying the same staff who need to fill out the paperwork are also responsible for caring for residents.
"It is not normal for this kind of delay in reporting to occur, and we regret that we fell behind in completing documentation," Revera’s statement said.
On Monday, a Revera spokesman said there are currently 138 residents at Maples, a 200-bed facility.
The province’s decision to call for independent investigations into care home operations came after an anonymous paramedic posted on Reddit about responding to a "nightmare" situation at Maples earlier this month.
The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service received several 911 calls from the facility the night of Nov. 6, when crews attended to more than 10 patients over the course of seven hours and transferred several others to hospital.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.