‘This new public health improves staffing flexibility for personal care homes and to allow care providers to schedule additional shifts’
Manitoba is allowing personal care home staff who have received COVID-19 vaccine to provide care at multiple locations in the province.
The province’s new public health order also covers agency staff who provide service to personal care homes. The health order took effect Tuesday, April 20.
“Personal care home staff on the front line provide an absolutely invaluable service to our Manitoba seniors and personal care home residents who have been hardest hit by COVID-19,” said Heather Stefanson, minister of seniors care. “Our government has fast tracked vaccinating both personal care home residents and staff, and this new public health order recognizes that work and improves staffing flexibility for personal care homes and to allow care providers to schedule additional shifts.”
Staff who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine can work at more than one site as early as two weeks after their first dose. The second dose must be received within 16 weeks.
Staff who have been vaccinated can request a print out confirming their vaccination from their local public health office, or print a copy online. More details are available here.
Meanwhile, non-vaccinated staff who work in personal care homes will continue to provide care at a single site.
In May 2020, the Manitoba government issued an emergency order for personal care homes to limit the number of employees who work at multiple sites. This order required health-care staff to work in a single personal care home, with limited exceptions. The emergency order was put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.
Three-quarters (73 per cent) of Canadians surveyed believe that the high number of deaths in LTC homes related to COVID-19 could have been reduced if governments had acted sooner, according to a report from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the National Institute on Ageing (NIA).
“Across Canada, a significant proportion of reported COVID-19 deaths have affected residents of long-term care facilities,” said Stefanson. “We are continuing this order to protect our most at-risk Manitobans and ensure employees working in personal care homes can provide care safely.”
Last month, Manitoba released a draft plan outlining how it will implement changes that were recommended by an expert advisor for the Maples Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg.