The number of health-care professionals in Manitoba off sick or isolating because of COVID-19 has doubled in just a week.
Shared Health says as of Jan. 1, 915 staff had tested positive, which is up from 423 the previous week.
That includes 194 nurses or nurses in training and 29 physicians or physicians in training who are currently off work.
The remaining include Allied Health, EMS, and support staff.
Of the 915 cases, Shared Health says 46 have been connected to outbreaks.
“Increased levels of community spread of COVID in our province impact our workforce in the same way it hits the general public, with increased incidences of illness and positive cases seen in recent weeks,” a Shared Health spokesperson said in an email.
“We are grateful to our dedicated staff who are continuing to provide patient care despite very challenging circumstances. We also wish staff who are off sick a speedy return to good health.”
For added context, Shared Health explains the rate of absenteeism for the last two weeks of December in the Winnipeg health region was up significantly over the same time period the year before.
Staff absences for that period were equivalent to 6.78 per cent of all hours worked, up from 6.04 per cent in 2020.
“In real numbers, the difference between the two years amounts to more than 6,000 hours per week – or about 750 eight-hour shifts (keeping in mind the actual length of health-care shifts will vary),” the Shared Health spokesperson wrote.
In 2019, Shared Health says the rate of absenteeism in Winnipeg for this pay period was equivalent to 5.35 per cent of all worked hours — a difference of roughly 2,000 eight-hour shifts compared to the most recent time period.
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