Winnipeg health officials to talk about late-night paramedic calls to personal care home

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority officials are scheduled to hold a news conference on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. after 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.

CBC News is broadcasting the news conference live here, on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.

Dr. Gilles Pinette, the medical director of the WRHA’s long-term care program, and Gina Trinidad, the chief operating officer of long-term care will be joined by Revera representative Jason Chester, who is the vice-president of long-term care operations for western Canada.

Manitoba’s health minister, Cameron Friesen, plans to address the public on Sunday.

On Saturday afternoon, Friesen tweeted that he had met with officials following a “situation” at a long-term care home that is the site of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

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 of Winnipeg confirmed Saturday.

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.

On Saturday afternoon, 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.