Safety review of Maples care home found improper use of PPE, WRHA says

A safety review of the Maples Long Term Care Home found staff were not using personal protective equipment properly, among other serious concerns, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said Friday. 

The update comes after eight residents died within 48 hours at the north Winnipeg personal care home last weekend. 

The review found numerous serious issues that need to be addressed immediately, WRHA chief health operations officer Gina Trinidad said at a Friday morning news conference.

Those include breaches in infection control measures — most notably regarding proper use of personal protective equipment — issues with recording feeding and nutritional information, and the need to stabilize staffing, Trinidad said. 

The WRHA doesn’t know for sure whether the PPE issues caused the outbreak or spread COVID-19 further in the care home, she said, but there are concerns about “potential breaches.”

“We don’t believe that that’s the sole cause of that spread. But we don’t have a clear picture yet of how that spread.”

Going forward, Trindinad said the health authority is working with the care home to ensure proper cleaning and replacement of PPE, and to ensure there are appropriate stations set up for staff to put on and to take off their equipment.

An official has been at the care home this week to monitor the situation there until the WRHA can ensure the safety of residents, she said.

In addition, a rapid response team has been at the care home since last weekend, and members of the Red Cross arrived there Friday, Trinidad said. The team from the Red Cross is doing an orientation and will be working at the care home Saturday, she said. 

Last Friday, staff at Maples made several 911 calls just after 7 p.m., according to the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. Two residents were dead by the time paramedics got there. 

Throughout the night, paramedics treated several dehydrated residents on site and transported three to hospital. On Saturday, officials revealed eight residents had died in a matter of two days.

On Monday, WRHA officials said there were only seven of 19 scheduled health care aides and five of seven scheduled nurses working that night, contrary to what Revera, the private company that owns the care home, told them previously.

At a town hall meeting held for families of residents on Tuesday, Revera reported 45 staff members were still off sick with COVID-19, and there were 10 active cases among residents.

Outbreaks at two-thirds of Winnipeg care homes 

More than two-thirds of personal care homes in Winnipeg are dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19, officials from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority also revealed Friday. 

To date, 357 personal care home residents have tested positive for COVID-19, said Vickie Kaminski, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. 

While 189 have recovered, 68 have died, and 71 remain active cases, Kaminski said at a news conference Friday. 

Personal care home management and staff are exhausted and resources are strained, she said during an update on how the WRHA is managing outbreaks of COVID-19 at personal care homes in the city.