WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Regional Health Authority appears to be running out of ICU beds. Six beds remained in intensive care units across the Winnipeg region as the climb in COVID-19 cases continues to put strain on the city’s hospital system. Caseloads have triggered the cancellation of 43 surgeries, and chief provincial health officer Dr. Brent Roussin has revealed a staff member who performed medical procedures without disclosing they'd been in contact with a close case resulted in dozens of other healthcare workers taking time off work to self-isolate.
As COVID-related deaths at personal care homes increase, Health Minister Cameron Friesen is crediting virtual inspections by video link for helping provincial health inspectors enforce regulations at long-term care centres dealing with multiple cases. The Parkview Place care home has had 19 deaths since September, the worst outbreak of any such facility in Manitoba.
Manitoba reported 170 new cases and three more deaths, the third-highest count in a day since mid-March when the pandemic began in the province. To keep on top of demand for health care workers, Manitoba Health has launched a new system for rapidly testing symptomatic staff so they can get back to work if they test negative.
Dr. Roussin says Manitoba is still seeing community transmission of the virus on a vast scale, in spite of Winnipeg’s 5-person gathering limit. He says he’ll consider expanding public health regulations further if people don't stop having close contact with people outside their own homes.