2 residents from Bethesda Place care home hospitalized with COVID-19

By | August 26, 2020

There are two residents from Bethesda Place personal care home in hospital and four staff members self-isolating at home after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the retirement home on Sunday. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, eight positive cases linked to the care home in Steinbach were reported. Of those cases, three are residents and four are staff members. One resident, a woman in her 90s, has died after contracting the virus. 

The Manitoba Nurses Union has confirmed that one of the staff members who tested positive is a nurse. 

Provincial health authorities have not said whether the most recent case at the care home, which was announced Wednesday, is a staff member, resident or family member.  

Response remains critical 

All staff and residents at Bethesda have been tested for COVID-19 since Monday, said Cheryl Harrison, executive director of Southern Health. The care home is on lockdown and no visitors are allowed at this point. 

“That is really reviewed every day,” Harrison said. “The residents are supported in engaging with their families through other, virtual means.” 

Residents have been isolating in their own rooms, which are equipped with private bathrooms. 

“That is not the usual for them to have to do,” Harrison said.

“Having to isolate in their room already changes the routine and … that in itself must be very concerning to the residents, so that’s what we want to continue to support.” 

The care home has 60 beds divided into two wings. The 30 rooms in each wing are divided into units of 15.

The facility has enhanced its deep cleaning procedures and staff are also required to wear personal protective equipment such as face shields, gloves and gowns. 

Staff who might have come into contact with the virus are isolating at home, Harrison said.

More staff needed 

Southern Health is bringing in additional staff, including nurses and care aids, to support residents during the outbreak. 

Bethesda Place is connected to Bethesda Regional Health Centre, the area hospital. Full-time and part-time staff from the hospital have been working overtime at the care home to fill the gaps, Harrison said. 

“That is just extremely commendable and typical of our community,” she said.

“We are just so pleased with the staff response, and that’s certainly a strength and a factor to our success.” 

Manitoba has banned health-care workers from working at more than one facility. Southern Health said hospital staff can work in the personal care home, but not the other way around.

Southern Health is assessing daily whether residents need to wear enhanced personal protective equipment and whether visitor restrictions can be lifted, Harrison said. 

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