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Red Cross called in to help at Winnipeg personal care homes as coronavirus cases mount

The Canadian Red Cross is helping at personal care homes in Winnipeg as COVID-19 cases mount. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

The Canadian Red Cross has been called in to help at two personal care homes in Winnipeg as COVID-19 cases continue to climb at the facilities.

“I can confirm that the Red Cross is working with the provincial and federal governments to provide support in certain care homes in Winnipeg,” Red Cross spokesperson Jason Small said in an email to Global News.

Read more: 103 cases, 5 more coronavirus deaths in Manitoba

“I can’t share which facilities, that is up to the provincial government. We are working with our partners on what that support will look like and when.

“We hope to have more details in the near future.”

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Outbreaks have been declared at a number of personal care homes across the province, including several in Winnipeg which have turned deadly in recent weeks.

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In a statement to Global News late Tuesday, Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen said a letter had been sent to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness earlier in the day, officially asking for federal support through the Canadian Red Cross.

Read more: Premier Brian Pallister asks Manitobans to volunteer at coronavirus test sites

“Initially, health system leaders are working with the Red Cross to assess the ability to assist at Parkview Place and Maples Long Term Care Home,” Friesen said.

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“The specific role of the Red Cross is still being finalized and more details will be released in the days to come.”

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Parkview Place Long Term Care Home and Maples Personal Care Home — both run by the private company, Revera — said they’re working with the Red Cross and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority on a plan “to provide additional staffing resources to support the residents with delivery of meals, recreation activities and companionship, maintaining isolation in rooms.”

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According to data provided by Revera on Tuesday, the outbreak at Maples Personal Care Home has grown to 157 positive cases, including 118 residents, and has led to six deaths.

Read more: Pallister government under fire for Manitoba’s ‘disastrous’ COVID-19 response

The outbreak at Parkview Place has killed 23 people as of Tuesday and grown to 137 cases, including 107 residents, the company said.

On Tuesday, provincial health officials announced 103 new cases of COVID-19 including 61 in Winnipeg, where the five-day test positivity rate is 9.3 per cent.

They also reported five additional deaths, including one connected to Maples Personal Care Home.

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