Large number of health workers keep immunization status secret

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WINKLER – Nearly a quarter of Manitoba healthcare workers who deal directly with the public have not disclosed their COVID-19 vaccine status, just days before unvaccinated workers are due to undergo frequent testing.

About 10,000 of the 42,000 workers – doctors, residents, nurses, personal care home workers and orderlies – refused to disclose their status despite being mandated to notify their employer.

Workers who are not fully vaccinated will either be tested frequently or go on leave – without pay or benefits – starting Monday.


Workers who are not fully vaccinated will either be tested frequently or go on leave – without pay or benefits – starting Monday. (PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images / TNS)

As of noon as of Friday, 29,707 workers had reported they were fully vaccinated – about 94% of submissions – and 26,220 of them had been validated, a spokesperson for Shared Health said.

Direct caregivers have validated their immunization status through discussions with managers, an online portal, or an automated validation process using their personal health number (if they have consented).

“We expect the number of validated and fully vaccinated direct care workers to continue to increase over the weekend and in the weeks to come,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement.

So far, 1,801 healthcare workers, who work across the province in a variety of roles and professions, have revealed they are not fully immunized and should be tested regularly, the door said. -speak.


Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon makes an announcement on October 15, 2021 at the Boundary Trail <a class=Health Center
in Winkler. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)” width=”2048″ height=”1618″ data-srcset=”https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP11128129.jpg 400w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600*600/NEP11128129.jpg 600w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP11128129.jpg 700w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/800*800/NEP11128129.jpg 800w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/900*900/NEP11128129.jpg 900w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1000*1000/NEP11128129.jpg 1000w”/>

Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon makes an announcement on October 15, 2021 at the Boundary Trail Health Center in Winkler. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Manitoba’s health minister said family members may have to help loved ones with long-term care if unvaccinated healthcare workers leave short-staffed facilities as early as Monday.

“Many contingency plans are currently under review… Plans are evolving,” Audrey Gordon said at a press conference in Winkler on Friday.

Family members of residents of Salem House, a personal care home run by Southern Health in Winkler, received a letter from the facility this week warning them that they may be asked to help in the coming days with laundry , diet, personal care and other needs.

A Free press a journalist and a photographer were there on Friday to speak to families outside. Salem House staff quickly kicked the pair out.


Salem Health in Winkler.  (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Salem Health in Winkler. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Southern Health Region CEO Jane Curtis said contingency plans could include preparing simpler meals if, for example, there was a shortage of kitchen staff.

“We will never put families in a position they have to come in, but we know there are families out there who would be willing and happy to do it,” she said.

Gordon and Curtis answered questions about the region’s immunization rate on Friday after announcing funding to expand Winkler Hospital, in a bid to prevent patients from having to travel to Winnipeg for acute care .

A building used for overnight stays at the Boundary Trails Health Center will be expanded to create 24 beds and more space for nurses.

Another two-story building is still planned for community health programs, which could include classes, cancer services, home care and public health work.

Construction is expected to start next summer.


A building used for overnight stays at the Boundary Trails Health Center will be expanded to create 24 beds and more space for nurses.  (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

A building used for overnight stays at the Boundary Trails Health Center will be expanded to create 24 beds and more space for nurses. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

The project will cost $ 64.4 million, although the government press release did not specify how much of that funding will come from the province as well as the hospital foundation. He also did not say how he plans to staff the expansion amid a province-wide shortage of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.

“Just a few weeks ago, Boundary Trails closed 10 medical beds due to a lack of nurses,” said NPD health spokesperson Uzoma Asagwara.

“Not only are these promised extensions years away from being used by Manitobans, but there is little hope that they can be properly staffed – at least as long as the PC Pallisters are in power,” said the Member of Parliament for Union Station in a press release. “The Boundary Trails area deserves better than a government that makes promises while cutting resources.

“Not only are these promised expansions still years away from being used by Manitobans, there is little hope that they can be adequately staffed. – NDP Health Critic Uzoma Asagwara

A spokesperson for Shared Health said on Friday that planning for the project “is underway and will determine long-term staffing needs for the facility. Various recruitment and retention strategies will be used at the regional and provincial level to ensure the appropriate personnel are in place. ”

Tami Giesbrecht, an outreach manager in the Southern Health Region who helps people with anxiety, including nurses and teachers, said she was getting busier as the pandemic lasts.

“The anxiety level there is extremely high,” she said. “It’s just a lot of things to deal with, and a lot of decisions to make as well, like ‘Am I going to get the shot? store in Winkler after shopping on Friday.

Concerns have gone beyond the capture of COVID-19. Now it could be that, plus the guilt of survivors and the downsizing of the office, among other things, Giesbrecht said.

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Gabrielle Piché

Gabrielle Piché
Journalist

Gabby is a huge fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from the Creative Communications program at Red River College in the spring of 2020.

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Carol sanders

Carol sanders
Legislative journalist

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people who call Manitoba home, Carol stepped into the Legislative Office in early 2020.

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