Manitoba health officials to give update after rapid response team sent into Maples Long Term Care Home

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa are set to give an update Sunday morning about a north Winnipeg personal care home where a rapid response team has been called in after eight people died there in a span of 48 hours.

CBC News will live stream the news conference about the Maples Long Term Care Home here at 11:30 a.m.

On Friday evening, the care home called emergency crews to treat 12 residents because their status was deteriorating, said Gina Trinidad, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s chief operating officer of long-term care, who was on site at the time and into the morning. 

Two residents who were getting end-of-life care died before those crews arrived, Trinidad said at an impromptu news conference with another official from the WRHA and a representative from Revera — the company that runs the care home — on Saturday evening. One of those residents had COVID-19 while the other did not, Revera said.

Three of the remaining 10 were taken to hospital because they needed higher-level medical care, Trinidad said.

Friesen said he was “devastated” to learn about the situation at the care home on Saturday.

Later that evening, Winnipeg police officers were seen entering the Maples care home, where a COVID-19 outbreak has to date claimed the lives of 22 people. Around 8 p.m., the forensic identification unit truck was parked across the street from the site, and officers in protective suits were seen leaving the facility and going back into that truck.

At Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. news conference, Trinidad said police had not been in touch with the WRHA in connection with the COVID-19 cases at the care home.

On Sunday morning, Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Const. Rob Carver said the police service is aware of concerns at the care home, and investigators “have initiated a preliminary assessment of the situation.”

The response team that was called into the care home on Saturday is made up of community paramedics and will be able to monitor and assess residents, Trinidad said on Saturday, though she did not know how many people are on that team.

Meanwhile, about 20 people from the Canadian Red Cross are also scheduled to give additional support at the care home starting Friday, she said.

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