Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 28, 2022

As per the Manitoba Nurses Union, the 4th wave of COVID-19 is reaching its peak

Key takeaways:

  • Even as officials warn of another surge in cases, the Manitoba Nurses’ Union claims the province is only now reaching the peak of COVID-19’s fourth wave.
  • COVID-19 has been linked to 137 hospitalizations and 27 patients in ICUs, according to reports released Monday.

The Manitoba Nurses’ Union claims the province is only now reaching the peak of COVID-19’s fourth wave, even as officials warn of another surge in cases.

Darlene Jackson, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union, says the province needs to focus on retaining nursing staff before the highly contagious Omicron variant adds to a workload already too much for hospital staff to handle.

“What I’m hearing from nurses is that the ICUs are full (and) they’re working nonstop to keep up,” Jackson said Monday on Global News Winnipeg Morning.

“We’re seeing it as a backup across the entire system.” COVID patients are being moved from area to area, unit to unit, and it appears that wave four is approaching its peak.”

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Manitoba reported 807 cases and six more deaths in the last three days, including 333 infections on Sunday, the highest number in a single day since June.

COVID-19 has been linked to 137 hospitalizations and 27 patients in ICUs, according to reports released Monday.

Following concerns that the Omicron variant would put additional strain on the healthcare system, Manitoba’s chief public health officer announced new restrictions on gatherings and capacity last week.

Manitoba has reported 17 cases of Omicron so far, but as the variant spreads, the number of cases in provinces like Ontario and Quebec is rapidly increasing.

Manitoba has already stated that a shortage of nursing staff in intensive care units has forced officials to postpone elective surgeries and transfer patients to other facilities to free up bed space.

Officials hadn’t ruled out the possibility of sending patients out of province for treatment, as they did in the spring when ICUs were overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.

The fourth wave of COVID-19 has reached its peak, as per the Manitoba Nurses Union
The fourth wave of COVID-19 has reached its peak, as per the Manitoba Nurses Union. Image from Tellusdaily

Manitoba, according to Jackson, is experiencing a “critical nursing shortage.”

“We currently have over 2,200 nursing job openings in the province,” she said.

“I believe nurses are just about to hold this system together, but I’m not sure how many more waves we’ll be able to get through with the current number of nurses.”

The province’s recently announced plans to open nearly 400 new nurse training spots at provincial post-secondary schools, according to Jackson, are a good start but will not help in the short term.

She believes the province should do everything possible to keep the currently employed nurses.

“Those will help in the future,” she said of the new training spots, “but you can’t educate a nurse overnight.”

“At this point, we can’t afford to lose any more nurses from the system.”

Meanwhile, Doctors Manitoba estimates that COVID-19 has caused a backlog of more than 152,000 tests and surgeries.

Manitoba requested that Ottawa sent up to 30 ICU nurses to help with the hospital worker shortage last week.

According to the federal government, eight Canadian Red Cross nurses will arrive in Manitoba on Monday.

Source:Global News

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