Chief nursing officer rejoins Manitoba COVID-19 briefing as hospitals under increasing strain

As stricter COVID-19 control measures come into effect in Winnipeg schools and in northern Manitoba, and as the disease puts increasing strain on Manitoba’s health-care system, the chief provincial public health officer and chief nursing officer will give an update on the pandemic in the province.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, and Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Manitoba Shared Health, will hold a media briefing at 12:30 p.m. CBC News will live stream the news conference here.

This will be the first time Siragusa has been at a COVID-19 briefing since Aug. 4.

The number of Manitobans in hospital with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus has risen sharply, more than doubling over the course of about a week, from what was a record-breaking 29 on Oct. 18 to 77 on Sunday. 

The number of patients in intensive care nearly doubled over the last few days, from eight on Oct. 22 to 15 on Sunday.

An outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital spread to a third unit last week. One person connected to the outbreak has died and 31 people — 22 patients and nine workers — have tested positive.

The Northern Health region moved to the orange, or restricted, level on the province’s pandemic response system on Monday, as public health officials see increasing signs of community spread. 

The rules coming to northern Manitoba are the same as those already in place in the Winnipeg area, including a five-person cap on gatherings.

Winnipeg schools moved to a modifed orange level on Monday. The change means there are new measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, including stepped up efforts to achieve two metres of physical distancing and expanded availability of remote learning for students in kindergarten to Grade 8.

Revera, the company that owns Parkview Place Long Term Care Home, announced it is paying to have every resident of the care home tested for COVID-19. As of Sunday, 97 of Parkview Place’s 221 residents, or 44 per cent, had tested positive, and 17 people connected to the outbreak had died.