A privately operated Winnipeg personal care home where 92 residents have been infected with COVID-19 — leading to 18 deaths — has yet to segregate patients to specific floors.
Gina Trinidad, chief health operations officer with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, told a news conference Monday infected residents are still located on the "majority" of Parkview Place's 12 floors.
She made the statement after the chief medical officer for Parkview owner Revera Inc., Dr. Rhonda Collins, said her information was the COVID cases were confined to two floors.
Parkview Place currently has 220 residents, although its bed capacity is 261. There are 36 active resident cases of the coronavirus at the institution; 38 have recovered from the illness.
At the same time, there have been 29 staff infected with COVID-19 at the Edmonton Street facility since the outbreak began Sept. 15. Eleven have recovered.
Apart from cohorting infected residents, which is still very much a work in progress, the biggest challenge the facility faces is staffing.
On Oct. 17, when WRHA representatives made an unannounced visit, the care home was short 40 health-care aides and 20 nurses. Staffing hours per patient per day was down to 3.1 hours, while 3.6 hours is standard for personal-care homes.
The five people who reviewed Parkview's operations that evening came up with 24 recommendations for improvement, all of which are being implemented, Trinidad said.
The WRHA team reported residents are "generally content and satisfied with the care received," she said.
"There were no major concerns arising from their observations during that review," she said of the team.
However, the review found several shortcomings related to site cleanliness, infection prevention and infection control.
There was a lack of hand sanitizing stations on floors, and staff were not always following proper protocols regarding personal protective equipment. Parkview Place also needed to improve housekeeping staffing levels, the review found.
"Cockroach infestation continues to be an issue for the site," a summary report said.
The care home's problems were front and centre Monday at the Manitoba legislature, where Opposition Leader Wab Kinew demanded the government take over the operation of the facility from the Ontario-headquartered private operator.
"The government needs to step in and assume control," he said during question period.
Neither Premier Brian Pallister nor Health Minister Cameron Friesen responded directly to the demand, but said the government was taking action.
"There’s a pause on new admissions. There’s cohorting of residents, and I assure you that all front-line workers and administrators are working hard to keep their residents safe," Friesen said.
The health minister also maintained a doctor was stationed at the care home full-time, but the WRHA said earlier in the day a physician was visiting the facility once a week. The WRHA did say, however, as of Monday (Oct. 26), a nurse practitioner would be at Parkview five days a week.
Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said the fact residents are testing positive at the facility and not being isolated from others is a "failure that borders on criminal negligence."
Trinidad said there will be protocols in place "the facility will be implementing" around segregating residents with the coronavirus. That includes moving COVID patients to dedicated floors. There are still COVID-positive patients sharing rooms with non-infected residents.
Trinidad said there are space limitations at the facility that make segregating patients difficult.
"There will be some internal moves made (at the facility)," 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.