The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says that Revera gave them "less than fulsome" information about Friday night's care home incident.
Vickie Kaminski, the president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) says that they were given incorrect information from Revera Inc, the owners of Maples Long Term Care Home, about staff numbers.
"We got that information from the Vice President of Revera for the western region. He gave us information as to the amount number of staff available on duty at the care home Friday evening," Kaminski says. She says this information was given to the media and the Health Minister., as well as the general public. After hearing from a union representing the health care aides, Kaminski says she pressed for more information and discovered the truth of the staffing situation.
"I asked for specifics, as for the names of people that were on duty, and the hours that they worked."
Kaminski says the staffing levels depicted in the Reddit post are true.
"I have to tell you, unfortunately, we got a slightly different picture of that staffing."
She says while there were 19 staff members originally slated to work, only seven showed up. Four called in sick and eight were isolated due to a COVID-19 exposure. Sevan aids were left, with some of the staff from other shifts working overtime to assist, including nine who offered two extra hours of help, and three who volunteered four extra hours to help prepare residents for bed. After 7:30 p.m. there were only seven aids.
The CEO says they will be discussing their expectations from Revera with the company.
"It is really unfortunate that we are here today to have to correct that record. We are extremely concerned that the information we got and that the information we gave, both to the minister and to the residents of Manitoba was less than accurate. It certainly was not fulsome information provided by Revera."
The WRHA's immediate concern, knowing that Vice President Jason Chester gave false information, is the care being given to patients at the home. Kaminski says relations between the WRHA and Revera are strained due to this information.
"I can only imagine how difficult it is to have lost that person and if you add to that, the fact that you may have questions, concerns, fears, that your loved one was not well cared for in the last weeks, days, or hours of their life, again terrible tragedies, that must make it much more difficult," Kaminski says "I am very sorry to all of you who had to go through that."
Kaminski says that if they are hearing information they know to be untrue to contact the WRHA. She says they are not "muzzling" workers from speaking out but says that there could be concerns over patient confidentiality if done so publicly. She says if sharing, the concerns must not identify the patients or hold information that could.
The CEO says they are doing all they can to provide safe environments for those in care. The WRHA is stepping up supervision at the home.
Kaminski says they do not plan to take over Revera care homes but will be sending staff to the Maples home.
In October, another Revera care home, Parkview Place, had a similar incident to the one at Maples. Gina Trinidad, WRHA's chief health operations officer, says she will be following up, as she learned of it following a press conference with Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Chief John Lane and Mayor Brian Bowman.
"We will certainly be reviewing that."
During the conference with the Mayor, Lane also confirmed the validity of the whistleblower's Reddit post. Lane says the WFPS's involvement meant 17 patients did not need to be transported to the hospital, as they were cared for at home. The WRHA says a total of 12 people were assessed and cared for by the WFPS based on information from Revera.
Trinidad says that when she was at the facility overnight on Friday, it appeared that there was enough staff in the building and residents were being cared for.
"My observations of that evening, that night, that from a staffing perspective that they were staffed appropriately," Trinidad says. When she arrived, paramedics and additional Revera staff were already on the scene.
Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew posted on Twitter stating "The Reddit post was accurate. Elders died in their beds alone? Others suffered from dehydration? This is a rich country. The only way this happens is as a result of our system failing the people. The government needs to call in the military. They clearly don’t “got this.”
Mayor Brian Bowman says he is not opposed to having the military step in.
There is currently a paramedic crew who is prepared to help if needed, and the Red Cross will be arriving on Monday. Dr. Brent Roussin said during a Monday afternoon press conference that "nothing is off the table" when it comes to increasing COVID-19 restrictions.