WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s health-care workers will have enhanced access to personal protective equipment (PPE) as the province’s stockpile supply has stabilized.
Shared Health announced Tuesday staff will have greater access to N95 respirators when directly caring for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of having the virus.
“Ensuring the health and safety of front-line health care workers has been – and continues to be – a fundamental priority in Manitoba’s response to COVID-19,” said Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Shared Health.
“Preventing health-care workers from exposure to and transmission of the virus has been a driving force behind our decisions since well before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our province.”
Throughout the pandemic, health-care workers have been using basic infection prevention and control measures, known science and national and international guidance to prevent the spread of the virus between patients and staff. This includes point of care risk assessment, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting of all environments and equipment.
The Manitoba Nurses Union and Shared Health have also reached an agreement to see increased PPE for nurses.
“For months, nurses have been voicing concern about inadequate PPE in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MNU president Darlene Jackson.
“Every nurse has a right to a safe workplace, and this agreement is a big step in the right direction following months of advocacy by nurses on this critical health and safety issue.”
MNU represents more than 12,000 nurses of all designations from across Manitoba.