Families with loved ones at Maples Long Term Care Home say there has been a lack of transparency since the COVID-19 outbreak began, and trust has been broken.
“People were not transparent about what’s happening here,” says Eddie Calisto-Tavares, the daughter of a resident at Maples.
These comments come after the COVID-19 outbreak at the care home came to a head on Friday, when paramedics were called to help treat 12 patients. Three people were taken to the hospital and two died.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is now trying to set the record straight about what happened.
“We’re extremely concerned that the information we got and the information that we gave both to the minister and the residents of Manitoba was less than accurate,” says Vickie Kaminski, WRHA president and CEO.
According to the WRHA, Revera, the company that runs the care home, said that when paramedics were called on Friday staffing levels were adequate – but they weren’t.
“I was here on Friday, when this nightmare went down,” says Calisto-Tavares, whose 88-year-old father has COVID-19.
Calisto-Tavares goes back and forth between helping to care for dad at Maples and self-isolating in a hotel.
“I trust the nurse that was on that night, and she had no one to help her,” Calisto-Tavares says.
“I was hearing people in other rooms crying out for help.”
Now Revera is saying there weren’t enough employees on the late shift Friday, and that it miscounted staff members.
In a statement, Revera says its vice president of long term care operations for Western Canada, Jason Chester “apologizes profusely for the inaccuracy of his calculations and the resulting misreporting of this data at the media conference with the WRHA. He did not endeavour to mislead and regrets the perception that he was purposefully inaccurate in his disclosure.”
However, some Manitobans say they've been left in the dark for weeks about the situation at Maples, with some family members saying they’re not going to wait any longer for things to change and have decided to take their family out of Maples.
Karen Thompson says she believes she saved her mother’s life by moving her out of Maples after her COVID-19 diagnosis.
“She was gravely ill,” Thompson says.
“Even now it makes me think, you know what she could have died and I wouldn't have known”
Revera says there is no excuse for the inaccurate disclosure and will be putting in a process to ensure this doesn’t happen again.