‘Concerned, worried, scared’: Death toll rises in Parkview Place care home outbreak

By | October 23, 2020

WINNIPEG — The outbreak at the Parkview Place care home, now linked to 15 deaths, is the worst of the pandemic so far in Manitoba.

While the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has been assisting the company that runs the long term care home in downtown Winnipeg, it doesn’t appear the province will be assuming management of the facility anytime soon.

“We don’t have any immediate plans for me to order any place to be taken over,” Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said on Thursday.

With the number of cases rising, families and residents are left on edge.

Lisa Muswagon said her mom is weighing a difficult decision.

Muswagon’s 72-year-old dad Iives in the care home but the family is awaiting an assessment to find out if they can get help caring for him at home.

“The way it is in Parkview right now it makes her even more concerned, worried, scared,” said Muswagon. “She wants to take it upon herself to look after him if she has to.”

There have been 108 positive cases – 82 residents and 26 staff.

A recent visit by the WRHA identified Parkview Place is facing challenges maintaining staff during the outbreak.

Muswagon said her dad recently tested negative for COVID-19.

She worries about the virus spreading.

“We just pray and hope that he doesn’t get COVID,” she said.

In Ottawa, a hospital started managing two long term care homes hit hard by COVID-19.

While Dr. Roussin said no such move is in the works at Parkview Place, which is run by Revera, he did say the WRHA is involved in offering assistance and remains in daily contact with the privately-operated, provincially-regulated care home.

“So they themselves have been virtually looking at that,” said Roussin. “They’ve done an unannounced visit this past weekend and made some recommendations. So they are actively involved in that right now.”

The WRHA said it’s assisting to ensure improvements are made to housekeeping resources and staff training and education on outbreak protocols.

Muswagon feels more could be done to care for residents and keep people safe.

She said her dad requires a high level of care and pulling him from the home isn’t a decision the family is taking lightly.

“So now that’s the other issue: is there enough community support to come and help my mom as she pulls him out,” said Muswagon.

The WRHA said it didn’t have any updates to provide Friday but may have more to say early next week.

Revera didn’t immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.

The company said earlier this week some staff members who previously tested positive are now able to safely return to work.

It’s also adding frontline and management staff from other locations, with approval from the province, and said it has hired some new employees.

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