All residents at northern Manitoba care home test positive for COVID-19

Much like Winnipeg’s care homes, Opskwayak Cree Nation is also dealing with a surge of COVID-19 cases in one of its nursing homes as well.

An outbreak has been declared at the community’s Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home.

All 28 residents at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19, according to community leaders in a press release. As of Saturday, 11 residents are asymptomatic, while 17 residents are showing symptoms.

One resident from the care home was transported by air out of the facility on Saturday.

On Friday, the release said 12 of the 48 staff who work at the care home have also tested positive. Saturday’s press release says an additional eight staff members tested positive.

The Public Health Inspector with the Northern Health Region completed an inspection of the care home and is expected to provide a report on the conditions.

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A team of doctors and nurses also attended the nursing home, providing assessments on residents and assisting staff with care.

A Rapid Response Team was deployed in OCN, which sits about 6.5 hours north of Winnipeg.

Leaders say the team will assist with testing, as community transmission is occurring in Opsakwayak as well as The Pas and the RM of Kelsey.

The team made recommendations to follow for the next 28 days to help stop the spread of the virus. The guidelines included having business managers email the names of employees to determine who can leave their home for work. The team suggests all other residents stay home, except for one individual per household for essential shopping.

Multiple partners have come together to support the community, including Indigenous Services Canada, First Nation Health Branch, Northern Health Region, University College of the North and Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team.

The groups have been making plans for a surge in capacity at St. Anthony’s Hospital by looking at increasing the number of beds and care units available.

OCN leaders say the University College of the North has committed to providing staffing resources, food services and beds for the hospital surge.

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