‘Described as sickening’: Winnipeg mayor calls for military support after deadly weekend at Maples Care Home

WINNIPEG — The Mayor of Winnipeg is urging the province to consider handing over care at the Maples Personal Care Home to the Canadian military after a weekend he described as ‘sickening’ left eight people dead.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Chief John Lane said the deadly weekend started when the service received a 911 call from the care home at 7:10 p.m. Friday evening, responding paramedics took one patient to hospital in stable condition.

“At 7:12, so two minutes later, several 911 calls were received simultaneously for moderately ill patients at the Maples,” Lane said.

Over the following 24 hours, the WFPS responded to 18 calls. During that time, Lane said multiple residents were taken to hospital and others received treatment including IV fluids and oxygen therapy in the home. WFPS removed eight bodies of residents who had died.

Lane said throughout Sunday night, WFPS assessed nine more residents, with five being treated within the care home and three taken to hospital.

The WFPS chief said the city plans to work with the WRHA to hand over patient care to either the Canadian Red Cross or ‘other appropriate agencies’ by the end of the week.

“The events of the last few days at Maples Personal Care Home as we’ve come to learn can really only be described as sickening,” said Mayor Brian Bowman, adding the Red Cross support is a step in the right direction, but he would like to see more action.

“The province should be considering all options, including leveraging the expertise and professionalism of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

On Sunday, Cameron Friesen, Manitoba’s Minister of Health, Seniors, and Active Living, announced an independent expert will investigate the outbreak at Maples, as well as Parkview Place Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.

Bowman called the response to the Maples Care Home reactive and said the province should have been proactive.

“What we have needed and continue to need is to have the provincial government to be more proactive in planning than we’ve seen to date,” he said.

“We have heard the Premier talk about needing all hands on deck; I would agree with that – we do need all hands on deck. We need every level of government doing their jobs. We need everybody doing their part.”

Revera, the company that owns the Maples care home, said 22 people have died since the outbreak at the home started.

Lane said an ambulance is stationed at the care home to serve as a rapid response team, but it may need to be removed to attend high priority calls.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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