Health minister ‘devastated’ by situation at Winnipeg care home with COVID-19 outbreak

Manitoba’s health minister says he has met with officials following a “situation” at a long-term care home that is the site of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Multiple ambulances were called to the Maples Long-Term Care Home on Friday night, and three people were taken to hospital, including one in critical condition, the City of Winnipeg confirmed Saturday.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service was called to the facility at 7:10 p.m. Within minutes, they received another call from the care home and another ambulance was sent, as well as a district chief, the city confirmed.

Crews were at the care home until 2 a.m. Saturday, the city said. Paramedics assessed a dozen people, three of whom were sent to hospital — one in critical condition. A number of other people were treated on scene, the city said.

CBC News has contacted Revera, the company that runs the care home, for comment. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has also been asked to provide information about what led to the call.

On Saturday afternoon, Health Minister Cameron Friesen tweeted that he is “devastated to learn today about the situation at Maples LTC Home.”

He said he had just come out of an “urgent meeting” with Revera, department officials and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

“I have directed health leadership to provide an explanation to MBans [Manitobans] today.”

Mayor Brian Bowman tweeted that city staff “have been in contact with the WRHA and Shared Health identifying concerns for their attention and action.”

As of Friday, a total of 176 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in connection to the Maples facility — 55 involved staff and 122 involved what the province called “non-staff.” Of the 176 cases, 166 were considered active as of Friday.

Twelve deaths have been reported in connection with the Maples outbreak. Of those, three were announced on Saturday — a woman in her 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s. It is not known whether those deaths were in any way connected with Friday night’s call to the facility.