WINNIPEG -- There are nearly 50 personal care homes across Manitoba currently dealing with COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa said 48 homes have identified at least one case of the virus among a resident or staff member.

"Some of those obviously have a higher level of outbreak,” said Siragusa.

“Regular physician coverage and medical monitoring of all residents continues, and it’s either provided on-site or virtually.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the province said there have been a total of 56 personal care homes and long-term care facilities with declared outbreaks. The province noted some facilities have had multiple outbreaks, which has resulted in 64 outbreaks total. Of these, 16 have been resolved while 48 remain active.

Siragusa said clinical leadership has been assigned to some of the acute outbreak sites. 

She also noted the Canadian Red Cross will be providing staffing support in the days ahead at Holy Family Home in Winnipeg.

“That will be focusing on infection prevention and control assessments, and helping the staff providing guidance,” Siragusa said.

The Red Cross is currently on-site and assisting at Maples Long-Term Care Home, Golden Links Lodge, and the St. Norbert Personal Care Home.

Of the 14 deaths announced Wednesday, seven are linked to care homes in Manitoba.

The province said a total of 1,305 COVID-19 cases have been linked to care home outbreaks. Of those, 443 were in staff with zero deaths, and 862 were in residents with 162 deaths. 

Siragusa said all of the health regions in Manitoba have access to the Emergency Response Team to provide short-term intervention during high acuity situations.

She noted there is currently paramedic support at both Fairview Care Home in Brandon and Grandview Personal Care Home in Grandview, Man. In Brandon, a paramedic is on-site 24/7, while there is a paramedic staffed during the day at Grandview.

Students who will be graduating from Red River College’s micro-credential course for uncertified health care assistants have been hired into the system. Siragusa said they will be deployed to personal care homes once their course wraps up next week. She said another course will begin once the first one is finished.