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Pandemic Response Level: critical icon Manitoba - CRITICAL
COVID-19 Information: Latest updates for Manitobans and resources for health providers.
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National Infection Prevention and Control Week is October 19-23 but Infection Prevention and Control is important every week!

Practice proper hand hygiene, stay home if you are ill, maintain physical distancing and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Hear more from Dr. John Embil, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Medical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic health care providers working on the front lines have received recognition, random acts of kindness and the appreciation of their communities. And deservedly so! Across Manitoba, thousands of health care workers stepped forward in the spring of 2020 to help, to provide care and to support their communities at a time when most citizens were being asked to stay home to stay safe.

Protecting these valuable physicians, nurses, allied health providers, health care aides, cleaners and support staff, among many other valued staff, is largely the responsibility of an unsung group of health care heroes, whose work behind the scenes is vital to the continued safe provision of care at all times and in all settings but which is of fundamental importance during the fight against COVID-19.

These highly skilled and meticulously detailed professionals are Manitoba’s Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) Team and this week, these dedicated members of our health care teams are receiving thanks and recognition from the colleagues they help keep safe each and every day.

“Like any good team, there are individuals who play an extremely important role but who don’t necessarily get – or seek – the recognition they deserve,” said Dr. Duane Funk, Anesthesiologist and Critical Care Physician at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Medicine at the University of Manitoba. “Before COVID-19, like most people who work in hospital, my thoughts of IP&C were of the people we called when we were looking to discontinue isolation precautions on a patient but over the past number of months I have really come to appreciate the vital role they play in keeping us safe.”

“As someone who works with COVID-19 patients in the ICU, I go to work and can feel confident knowing that IP&C is keeping track of patients, tracking down test results for patients and staff, and ensuring the safety of all members of the health care team each day,” Funk added.

IP&C teams are dedicated to the prevention and reduced risk of infections within health care environments and are advocates of the core measures that can prevent the transmission of infections in everyone in a healthcare setting, including staff, visitors, contractors, etc.

“The physicians and nurses within the IP&C team work closely with Occupational Health and clinical leads and have been at the forefront of rapid research and updated guidance since the earliest days of COVID-19. I am grateful for their important contributions to our COVID response and encourage colleagues throughout the province to thank a member of the IP&C team!”

Dr. Duane Funk, MD FRCPCP, is Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Medicine at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He is also a practicing physician working in Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Units at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and is a member of Manitoba’s coordinated response to COVID-19.

PPE Fatigue is a threat! Lead by example. Remind your colleagues, educate newcomers (staff, patients, visitors) and practice PPE discipline to keep yourself and others safe.  

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