WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals say the Pallister government needs to start preparing a Rapid Response medical team that could be deployed to personal care homes or other hotspots before the expected second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the PCs have released a vague "Phase II" plan for reopening the economy, the government should be preparing now to ensure that Personal Care Homes remain infection-free until a vaccine is developed.
That's why Liberals say a rapid response team with the capacity to staff three personal care homes at once should de developed now.
"Manitobans have done a great job of working to keep COVID numbers down, and we should be using this time to make sure that personal care homes stay COVID-19-free for good," said Jon Gerrard, MLA for River Heights and Manitoba Liberal Health Critic. "The time to start preparing a medical rapid response team is now."
Manitoba Liberals first called on the PC government to release a COVID-19 plan on March 2, including detailed measures to protect personal care homes.
Personal care homes have seen a terrible death toll during the pandemic across Canada and around the world. One major reason is that when COVID-19 strikes a personal care home, staffing can be drastically reduced because workers have to self-isolate. That was the reason the Canadian military had to be called in when outbreaks occurred at homes in Ontario and Quebec.
Manitoba Liberals say the PCs should take long-overdue measures to improve services at personal care homes, including a COVID-19 risk benefit for staff, increasing staffing levels, and ensure that containment measures are in place.
"When Manitoba Liberals called on the PCs to bring back 90-day prescriptions, they realized they made a mistake and changed it," said Cindy Lamoureux, MLA for Tyndall Park and Manitoba Liberal Seniors' Critic. "So long as there is a risk of coronavirus, we need to do everything we can to keep every senior and health care worker safe and healthy."