Another privately owned personal care home in Winnipeg, which is operated by Revera, has experienced a surge in coronavirus cases in recent days.
Late Tuesday the company announced that 69 residents and seven staff at its Maples location on Mandalay Drive had tested positive for COVID-19. All are asymptomatic, Revera said in a news release.
The company said it is conducting "surveillance testing" of all residents of the home, which has a capacity of 200.
"As of (Tuesday) afternoon, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority confirms that 69 asymptomatic residents of the second floor have tested positive for COVID-19 and 27 residents tested negative. Testing is being completed for the remaining 104 asymptomatic residents on the first floor (Tuesday)," Revera said.
Earlier in the day, the province said 47 residents and three staff had tested positive at Maples PCH. No deaths have been recorded as a result of the outbreak, which began Oct. 20.
As of Tuesday, there were coronavirus outbreaks at 16 personal care homes in Manitoba, according to Manitoba Health. A total of 225 persons — 171 residents and 54 staff — have tested positive for the virus and 26 people have died, the province said. (The statistics relate only to current outbreaks — not to past outbreaks, such as the one at Bethesda Place in Steinbach, which has ended.)
Parkview Place on Edmonton Street, also operated by Revera, continues to experience the province's largest care home outbreak. On Tuesday, the government announced a 19th death related to that care home.
According to provincial figures, which vary from those provided by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority on Monday, 117 persons have tested positive at Parkview, including 31 staff and 86 non-staff. (On Monday, the WRHA reported that 92 residents had been infected with COVID-19 there.)
The large Maples care home outbreak prompted the Canadian Union of Public Employees to call on public health officials to immediately inspect all privately run personal care homes with coronavirus cases.
The WRHA made an unannounced visit to Parkview Place on Oct. 17 and found shortcomings related to facility cleanliness, infection prevention and infection control.
"Government and private operators dragged their feet before, and we cannot have a repeat of what happened at Parkview Place," said Shannon McAteer, CUPE health care co-ordinator.
Of the 16 Manitoba personal care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks, only one other has total cases in double figures. That's Revera's Heritage Lodge location, which has had 20 positive tests —15 residents and five staff. There have been four virus-linked deaths at the facility.
Misericordia Place PCH and Calvary Place care home have each had nine cases and suffered one death a piece. Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre has had two cases, including one death.
Outbreaks at a few other facilities are so new that the province has yet to record official statistics for them. These homes include Ochekwi Sipi PHC (Fisher River) and Swan Valley Lodge.
A man whose father lives at Maples personal care home said the resident manager informed families that Revera had hired security guards to prevent residents from walking into areas where they're not allowed.
"They are all receiving their meals in take-out containers in their rooms," the son said. His father had yet to be tested for the virus early on Tuesday.
Jan Legeros, executive director of the Long-Term Care Association of Manitoba, said the most recent large care home outbreak shows the need for Manitobans to practise anti-infection fundamentals such as frequent hand-washing, mask-wearing, staying home when ill and avoiding large groups of people.
"I really think we need to take a step back and start thinking about everyone else around us and especially our most vulnerable," she said.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.