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Parkview Place needs province to take over care: Manitoba NDP, experts

Click to play video 'Calls for change at Parkview Place' Calls for change at Parkview Place
Parkview Place, the site of Winnipeg's deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, recorded its 15th death amid calls for the province to take control. Brittany Greenslade reports – Oct 23, 2020

Calls are strengthening for the province to take over care at Parkview Place after another person died from COVID-19 at the site of the deadliest care home outbreak in the province.

The care home has been devastated by the virus, with 82 residents and 26 staff members testing positive for COVID-19, while 15 people have died.

Read more: Staffing, support at COVID-19-stricken Parkview Place care home a big concern: WRHA

“At this point the only acceptable action is immediate action,” Manitoba NDP MLA Uzoma Asagwara said.

The Manitoba NDP said the province needs to step in and take over care at the facility on top of helping with staffing issues, personal protective equipment and outbreak protocols.

“At this point, the government needs to step in and take over management,” Asagwara said, “To make sure that residents and staff are safe and receive care and resources they deserve.”

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It’s a move experts in geriatric health agree with.

“The fact that we are seeing such a spectacular outbreak happen in downtown Winnipeg, in a home that we knew had a high likelihood of this happening, it concerns me,” Mount Sinai Director of Geriatrics Dr. Samir Sinha said.

Click to play video 'Infectious disease expert warns Manitoba reaching ‘tipping point’ in COVID-19 fight' Infectious disease expert warns Manitoba reaching ‘tipping point’ in COVID-19 fight
Infectious disease expert warns Manitoba reaching ‘tipping point’ in COVID-19 fight – Oct 22, 2020

On Saturday, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority sent in a five-person team to inspect the facility.

It was the first time health officials had been inside since a March inspection found concerns with cleanliness and infection control, including evidence of cockroaches and filthy washrooms that smelled of urine.

The review identified the need for more medical and clinical staff, which could include doctors, nurses, health care aides and physiotherapists, to care for residents.

The review found that staff are also in need of more training on outbreak protocols, according to the WRHA.

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Sinha said Manitoba had a chance to learn from care home outbreaks in other province’s that happened in the first wave of the pandemic. But instead, it’s falling into the same issues.

“Sadly what we are seeing is we are reliving experiences in Winnipeg at Parkview that we’ve seen repeatedly played out,” he said. “Things that have taught us what not to do but sadly we are reliving that in Winnipeg.”

In Ottawa, the West End Villa long-term care home went through a similar outbreak and is now at the center of a $15-million class-action suit.

Read more: Ottawa’s West End Villa faces $15M class-action lawsuit over coronavirus outbreak

A coronavirus outbreak was declared at the facility on Aug. 30.

Since then, more than 100 people linked to the home have tested positive for the virus and 15 residents have died in relation to COVID-19, according to Ottawa Public Health.

The Ottawa Hospital has since taken over patient care at the long-term care facility.

But Manitoba’s top doctor has no plans to order the province to take over care at Parkview Place.

“We don’t have any any immediate plans for, you know, for me to order any place to be taken over,” Dr. Brent Roussin said Thursday.

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