The Manitoba Nurses Union says the government needs to act immediately after a “dramatically increasing number” of COVID-19 patients at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach.
The union says capacity at the facility is quickly filling up, with some nurses even having to triage patients in their cars because of a lack of space in the emergency department.
Multiple units are experiencing outbreaks, according to the MNU, and approximately seven nurses have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Health officials do not appear to have an adequate plan to meet the dramatically-increasing need, despite having months to prepare,” said MNU president Darlene Jackson.
Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen says his government is working on it.
“Plans are being formed now to be able to properly address the impact of patients arriving at the hospital and plans are being made to utilize that hospital’s capacity and other capacity to the fullest extent possible to make everyone safe,” Friesen said.
Jackson also says there are reports some supplies and PPE are not being restocked at the hospital in a timely manner.
Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals President Bob Moroz says the Steinbach situation is “what we’ve all been fearing.”
“The community spread is so prevalent that they’re now assuming any call they respond to is COVID-positive,” Moroz said in a statement.
“Paramedics do their best, but the situation is increasingly stressful and those teams were stretched before the pandemic.”
There are 272 active cases in Steinbach, which is the hardest-hit area in the Southern Health region by far.