WINNIPEG -- After picking up a shift at a short-staffed personal care home, Manitoba's chief nursing officer says those on the frontlines need to be protected from burning out as the pandemic continues to wear on the health care system.

In between her duties as the Chief Nursing Officer for Shared Health, which includes fielding questions at many of Manitoba's daily COVID-19 briefings - Lanette Siragusa joined health-care workers on the frontlines at a personal care home over the weekend.

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Siragusa picked up a shift at a care home experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak in Winnipeg. She said, although they were short-staffed, the care home team worked collaboratively to help the residents.

"Although everyone on the unit had COVID, they were very well taken care of. They were treated with kindness and respect and dignity, and it really was a privilege for me to be there," Siragusa said.

"But I do know that (the staff) were tired, they were working long hours."

She said her time at the care home reinforces the need to protect frontline workers, not just with the proper personal protective equipment, but from burning out as well.

"We are kind of just coming into the midst of (the pandemic) and we don't know how long it's going to be," she said.

This comes as hospitalizations in Manitoba have reached more than 300, with 50 COVID-positive patients now in intensive care.

Siragusa said the continued high numbers are placing a strain on the healthcare system and said Manitobans need to stay home to bring down the surging cases.