Pallister to give COVID-19 update Thursday morning as Manitoba ICUs strain under pressure

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Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is set to give an update on COVID-19 on Thursday as the province struggles with a lack of intensive care unit capacity that has forced the transfer of some patients to Thunder Bay, Ont.

CBC Manitoba will live stream the 11 a.m. news conference here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.

Three COVID-19 patients were transferred to Thunder Bay — about 600 kilometres east of Winnipeg — earlier this week. The first two were moved out Tuesday as a spike in admissions put the province’s intensive care capacity at “significant risk,” a government spokesperson said.

A third ICU patient was sent to Thunder Bay on Wednesday.

Manitoba has experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases during its third wave and signs are emerging that there is not enough nursing staff to care for the expected influx of critically ill patients in the coming weeks.

Typically, ICU nurses provide one-to-one care with some exceptions, but now they’re caring for up to three patients at Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and the Grace Hospital, although health officials say the sickest patients will still be assigned their own nurse.



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