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Staff shortage in Winnipeg health region increases by 21.2% amid spread of COVID-19

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Rising levels of COVID-19 in Manitoba are continuing to require healthcare staff.

As with many other sectors in the province, there has been a sharp increase in sick joint health staff over the past two weeks, to 21.2 per cent, an email from a spokesman said on Friday.

The staff shortage in the Winnipeg health region for the two-week pay period ending Jan. 12 was equal to 10 percent of all hours worked, about 73,000 hours lost per week.

The equivalent of nearly 60,000 hours, or 6.78 percent of all working hours, was lost due to illness time during the previous two-week pay period.

This is a huge increase compared to the January 2020 pre-pandemic, when less than 39,000 hours per week, or 5.53 percent of all working hours, were lost due to staff shortages, the spokesman said.

This is an 88 percent increase in time lost due to illness or absence compared to the most recent payment period.

However, data on the time of illness are not shared according to the reason for the absence, the spokesman said.

As such, Shared Health is unable to provide real-time numbers of healthcare workers who have or are recovering from COVID-19, nor is it able to provide numbers for the number of staff isolated while awaiting outcomes. test as they are close. contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The health care system in Manitoba is responding to increased levels of sickness by relocating and reassigning existing and available staff as needed.

Hiring staff in the COVID-19 resource group to help with staffing needs for a role group has also accelerated, the spokesman said.

Since the beginning of December, 52 Shared Health staff have been relocated to personal care homes, including 18 in the last two weeks.

Several hundred staff have also been placed in acute care and other service areas since September.

Furthermore, healthcare workers on scheduled leave in January were offered payment instead of rest time, the spokesman said.

Personnel resources have also been increased by recent changes to public health orders that shortened the return period for asymptomatic staff.

Shared Health continues to ask Manitobans to show support for its staff by getting vaccinated and getting the third COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are able, which will significantly minimize the risk of seeking hospitalization and further reduce the burden on healthcare staff. and hospitals.

Data on the number of healthcare workers who tested positive for COVID-19 could not be considered more accurate, the spokesman added, due to changes in testing requirements.

For this reason, Shared Health has discontinued reporting on this metric.

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