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Manitoba hospital workers test positive for COVID-19
Published Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:57AM CST Last Updated Wednesday, April 1, 2020 6:58PM CST
WINNIPEG -- Multiple healthcare workers in Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19, the province has confirmed.
In an emailed statement sent Wednesday morning, a Shared Health spokesperson confirmed a staff member at St. Boniface Hospital has tested positive for the virus.
According to the spokesperson, the staff member works in the hospital’s echocardiography department.
“All staff members in the department – 13 individuals in total – were immediately notified and sent home to self-isolate while contact tracing was completed,” the spokesperson said. “Any staff determined to have had close contact with the individual while they were symptomatic have been directed to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of exposure.”
Shared Health said no patients have been identified as close contacts, and the entire department has been thoroughly cleaned. Public health, occupational health and infection prevention and control continue to investigate.
“This news is upsetting to all of us,” the spokesperson said. “Our thoughts are with the affected staff member, as well as all of their colleagues at the site.”
Shared Health added arrangements have been made to bring staff in from other locations to help ensure service continuity in the department.
They added all elective echocardiographies were suspended last week due to COVID-19, noting only urgent and emergent procedures are being performed at this time.
HEALTH CARE WORKER AT GRACE HOSPITAL TESTS POSITIVE
The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals confirmed with CTV News on Wednesday that one of its members working at Grace Hospital also tested positive for the virus.
While it is not confirmed how this member contracted the virus, MAHCP president Bob Moroz told CTV News in a written statement that they "strongly suspect it was contracted from a patient while on the job."
"We can't share personal health information, but we know that all our members are concerned about what will happen if they become sick," Moroz said in a written statement. "The government has not answered our call to provide paid leave for health care workers who have to self-isolate, so that's causing even more stress for our members."
The Manitoba Nurses' Union said in a written release that two staff members at Grace Hospital have been confirmed positive and more than 14 ER staff members are self-isolating.
NURSES' UNION CALLS ON PROVINCE TO ALLOW PPE ACCESS
In the written release, MNU President Darlene Jackson called on the government to allow nurses to use their "professional judgement" when it comes to personal protective equipment.
"Nurses must be allowed to use their own professional judgement to assess the risk,” Jackson said. “Right now we have mass confusion about the current amount of supplies available, and how different guidelines and protocols on testing or PPE are to be followed. Nurses aren’t able to protect themselves, and people are falling through the cracks. If nurses start to get sick in greater numbers, the whole health system begins to fall apart.”
WORKER AT SELKIRK REGIONAL HEALTH CENTRE TESTS POSITIVE
On Tuesday, the province confirmed a worker at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre tested positive for COVID-19.
The individual worked in the health centre’s emergency department and medicine ward from March 19 to March 23, according to the province.
The Manitoba Nurses Union also said Tuesday an ER nurse tested positive for COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, the province has reported 127 cases of COVID-19, both confirmed and probable positive.
-with files from CTV's Michelle Gerwing