More information on how low-acuity patients could be treated outside hospitals will be coming this week.

As hospital beds fill, the province has created a three-part system to deal with the surge in demand. The first phase is redeploying staff to where there is need, the second part is looking at adding casual workers and setting up more hospital beds at different sites.

Another governing organization, the Manitoba Metis Federation, has created camps to house COVID-19 patients. The largest of its two sites can house 96 people. All have a manager/cook, a breakfast cook, and maintenance personnel.

While Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa was not familiar with the MMF's camps, she says that part of the province's Phase 3 plan includes using large spaces for low-acuity patients.

The province is not planning to create a mass number of staffed, vacant beds immediately. 

"A third part of our plan is to look at low acuity settings, large facilities where we can house many people who do not necessarily need oxygen and suctioning. So their medical needs are less, but they still need some supervision," Siragusa says.

This was part of a request for proposal the province sent out in the spring. On Friday, Siragusa said people would be provided with basic medical care at these locations.

When described the MMF camps as a collection of trailers that can hold close to 100 people, Siragusa said the province has thought about doing something similar.

"We have looked at that. That is one strategy that if we start running out of hospital (space), we have quite a lot of ability to manage in the hospital, but if we need more acute care space for COVID because of the numbers surging, that is so that was an RFP that went out in the spring and we have been planning for that as well."

The province is hoping to slowly add more hospital beds as needed. Currently, the province is working to create more space as needed for critical patients in existing critical care units at hospitals. 

Siragusa says she will provide more details on the province's plan later in the week.

Manitoba has isolation facilities for those with COVID. These are for those who are homeless, living with at-risk people, or those unable to secure a private space to isolate. 

"Participants in this program do receive health and wellness checks and if required we can make sure there is online consultation available with their primary care providers or specialists."

Siragusa says if needed paramedics can visit the sites to aid.

In Winnipeg, the shelter program accepted 31 people in the past week. Thirty new people are using hotels to isolate, bring the current total of people isolating at a hotel to 58.