WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials are warning the health-care system in the province is not built to support continued soaring COVID-19 case counts.

As of Monday, Manitoba is reporting 234 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with 42 people in intensive care.

“I want to be clear now that what is happening in these sites is really a wake-up call to all Manitobans,” said Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health. “The entire system is soon going to be under distress with these high daily case counts. It really can’t continue. The system was not built for that."

“Everyone is doing as much as they can, but this is becoming more and more distressing every day that we see these high numbers.”

The province opened six additional intensive care beds across Manitoba over the weekend, bringing the total to 99. As of midnight, 90 are now in use. In addition, 37 of 83 ventilated patients have tested positive for COVID-19.


The recent case counts in Steinbach, Man. is putting increased pressure on the staff at Bethesda Regional Health Centre. As of Monday, there are 308 active cases in Steinbach’s health district.

“Surgical activity at the site is now going to be limited to urgent and emergent cases only, so elective cases will stop there temporarily,” Siragusa said. “This will allow the surgical staff to be deployed to other areas in the site where additional resources are required.”

Siragusa said staff in some units at the hospital, such as rehabilitation, are being moved to help support patient care. Staff from other acute sites around the area are being offered shifts at Bethesda, with many volunteering and accepting.

“A call has been placed for emergency nurses from other regional centres to help out,” she said.

The hospital is also working to reorganize the waiting room in the emergency department to have a separate space for COVID-19 patients, and is in discussion to create waiting room “red zones” so patients do not have to be triaged in their cars in the parking lot, Siragusa said.

A spokesperson from the Southern Health region told CTV News there is a one-and-a-half-day wait time to get a COVID-19 test in Steinbach, though the region is working to improve the testing site.