WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials are defending the decision to temporarily close a hospital in western Manitoba to help redeploy staff to an outbreak at a personal care home in the community.

On Wednesday, Prairie Mountain Health announced the temporary closure of the hospital in Grandview, Man. Staff at the hospital were moved to the Grandview Personal Care Home, where a COVID-19 outbreak is occurring.

“Ensuring that appropriate staffing supports are in place is our top priority, and this also includes with our personal care homes,” Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Shared Health, said on Friday.

Siragusa said the hospital has suspended its emergency and acute care services temporarily.

“The decision in Grandview was not made easily, but it is essential to ensure that residents are provided with the necessary care in the personal care home whenever possible,” she said.

Siragusa thanked the staff and residents for their patience during the ongoing situation.

As of Friday, the care home is reporting 15 residents and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. A rapid response team from Swan River was called in to assist staff at the care home.

Hospital patients in Grandview were transferred to Dauphin or Russell, Man. for emergency treatment.

On Thursday, residents of Grandview held a car parade and rally to protest the closure of the hospital.

-with files from CTV’s Josh Crabb.