Manitoba city’s hospital closure attracts emotional tribute as employees shift to struggle COVID-19 at care house

An emotional rally and car procession was held in a rural Manitoba group Thursday as residents paid tribute to the final sufferers being transferred away from the city’s hospital, which the health authority mentioned could be closed briefly.

“This is our community’s way of showing we are in mourning,” mentioned Buffy Maxwell, who recorded the gathering in Grandview, Man. More than 50 vehicles lined up alongside the shoulders of roads across the Grandview Health Centre because the solar was rising early Thursday.

“The plan is to escort the remaining patients from the hospital to their new destination in a sign of respect for them and as a way to show the province that we care a lot and we want to help,” Maxwell mentioned. 

The occasion was swiftly organized Wednesday night, simply hours after the Prairie Mountain Health authority announced in a post on its website that the hospital could be closing briefly.

Hospital employees reassigned

The choice was made to reassign hospital employees to the Grandview Personal Care Home to assist struggle a COVID-19 outbreak there.

The care house is now in the crucial stage on Manitoba’s pandemic response scale after two employees members and two non-staff members examined positive, in response to provincial knowledge as of Nov. 24.

Some sufferers have been moved to hospitals in other communities on Wednesday and 4 have been left for Thursday’s switch.

As the ambulances pulled away, vehicles rolled off the gravel shoulders and fell in behind — horns honking and hazard lights flashing within the early mild. 

“It was overwhelming to see. Tears filled my eyes right away,” mentioned Maxwell.

Although there was no faculty locally on Thursday, a crowd of scholars gathered alongside the fence of the schoolyard and watched the motorcade cross.

“They stood there as if watching a funeral procession,” mentioned Maxwell. “And in many ways, that’s how it feels. It’s as if something died.”

Concern closure will not be short-term

A giant a part of the emotion stems from worry, Maxwell mentioned.

The group, halfway between Dauphin and Roblin and about 290 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, is worried the closure will not be a short-lived one, she mentioned.

The RCMP detachment locally of about 1,480 people was closed in January and the emergency division on the health centre in Roblin was shut down in September.

The closest hospital is in Dauphin, 45 kilometres east of Grandview.

“I’m fearful this is a way to somehow help their budget,” Maxwell mentioned. “This government has let us down. We feel helpless and don’t know what to do.”

Maxwell underscored the significance of the non-public care house receiving the assist it requires.

She mentioned she has an excellent aunt within the house and is anxious about her health and the health of the other residents.

Grandview resident Buffy Maxwell is frightened the hospital’s short-term closure will change into a everlasting one. (Buffy Maxwell/Facebook)

“Our hearts go out to all of them. They absolutely do need the support,” she mentioned.

“But I’m just not sure if closing the hospital was the right thing to do.”

On its web site, Prairie Mountain Health mentioned emergency response providers will nonetheless be accessible throughout the closure, with sufferers being transported to the closest open emergency division.


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