Family and residents upset as Revera provides update about COVID-19 in Maples care home
Maples Personal Care Home.
WINNIPEG -- The company that runs Maples Personal Care Home talked with concerned families and residents for the first time since the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said it was misled about staffing numbers during an emergency event last Friday.
Revera held a telephone town hall Tuesday to address some of the concerns that have been raised since Friday, and since the outbreak first happened at the care home.
Currently, 10 residents at the home have COVID-19 and another five are in hospital with the virus.
Eighty-four residents have recovered, and 22 people have died.
During the call, Jason Chester, who is the vice president of operations for Western Canada for Revera, reiterated an earlier apology for the role he played in the misinformation that was provided to the WRHA.
"I sincerely apologize for this error. I want to ensure you it was not my intention to mislead you," said Chester. "I deeply regret the perception that we were purposely inaccurate. I will work tirelessly to regain your trust."
Dr. Rhonda Collins, the chief medical officer for Revera, also laid out an action plan aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the care home.
She said as part of the plan there is testing for all symptomatic residents and asymptomatic staff will be tested.
Isolation and cohort plans are in place to protect the residents.
She also noted that the Red Cross is going to help make sure each resident gets the proper social and mental stimulation to help them through the outbreak.
Revera is also working on how to best return to normal once the outbreak is over.
"We need to look at resuming service, resuming visitation, and resuming daily life, back to normal as we can," said Collins.
She said Revera will work with the WRHA when it gets closer to that point to formulate a plan for resuming service.
"We need to ensure COVID stays at bay and does not come back into our home."
Staffing numbers were also addressed during the town hall, as that has been a concern at the care home.
Chester said they have had to rely on current staff working overtime and also bringing in temporary staff.
"We are hiring new staff as much as we can and quickly as we can," said Chester.
He said additional security staff is also being brought in on top of the healthcare workers to deal with bringing residents back to their rooms and also provide interactions with them throughout the day.
Several family members, however, voiced frustrations with what has been happening at the care home and how Revera has handled the situation.
Many of the families on the call asked what Revera plans to do about barriers keeping them from communicating with loved ones in the home. They said their calls have been ignored when they try to find out how their family members are doing.
"There's been times where we've called 20 plus times, left voicemails. They are always unreturned," one woman said.
Another woman asked if they would have dedicated employees to pick up the phone and provide information to families when it comes available.
Matthew Braun, who is the executive director at Maples, said the care home's goal is to have two managers available to pick up the phone when people call.
"I very much acknowledge this concern and our need to really really focus hard on that," said Braun.
Following up on the contact concerns, one man asked if Revera would put its plans to handle phone calls in writing to help ease the minds of family members.
"What numbers should we call? What email address should we send something to? Along with what is the commitment for return?" the man asked.
"We definitely want to follow up with the process of communication. So we will work on that right away," said Chester, who added an email will be sent out as soon as it is figured out.
However, one woman on the call accused officials of avoiding questions.
"All we want is the truth and you guys keep sidestepping and deflecting everything. Be honest about what is going on over there," the woman said.
PROTEST AT PARKVIEW
The family members on the call weren't the only ones who have been upset with Revera.
A protest was held outside of Parkview Place on Tuesday, as people voiced their displeasure with the handling of the outbreak there.
Parkview Place is also run by Revera.
The protestors were demanding better treatment for the residents and the workers at the home.
Parkview Place is linked to at least 116 active cases in Manitoba, which is second to the Maples care home.