COVID-19 pandemic: A community health nursing perspective

Talk Tuesday - May 19, 2020

Watch on YouTube:

Featured presenters

Mhairi Lintott RN HBScN, Public Health Nurse, Access Winnipeg West

Mhairi Lintott has been nursing for the past 34 years in various provinces, with the last 19 as a Public Health nurse in Winnipeg. She graduated with an honours baccalaureate degree in science from Lakehead University. From there Mhairi has worked in rural Saskatchewan, Northern Manitoba, North Western Ontario, and Nunavut, all of which have been tremendous experiences and has shaped the nurse she is today. Mhairi has enjoyed the challenge of working, most recently, on the centralized Covid-19 team with the WRHA.

Sylvia Camara Tavares RN BN PNC (c), Public Health Nurse, COVID-19 Public Health Team

Sylvia Camara Tavares is a Public Health Nurse with over 20+ years of experience in the Public Health domain and is currently working on the COVID-19 Public Health Team.  She graduated with a Baccalaureate in Nursing from the University of Manitoba and began her nursing career at St Boniface Hospital on a high-risk postpartum unit. Sylvia transitioned to Public Health in 2005. During this time, she received her Douglas College Certificate and became a Certified Lactation Consultant.

Sylvia also worked as a SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) with Health Sciences Centre and worked in Home Care privately with Medox. Sylvia received her Perinatal Nursing Certificate with the Canadian Association of Nurses and completed her Winnipeg Regional Health Authority / Red River College certification in Health Services Leadership & Management in 2016. A self-professed people-person, Sylvia is passionate about community health, and more importantly, how she can make her community a better place.

Tanya Horton, RN BN, Communicable Disease Coordinator CD & Immunization Program

Tanya Horton has worked in varied Public Health Nursing areas for more than 20 years, with a passion for communicable diseases throughout.  The first half of her career was spent in British Columbia, followed by a return to Manitoba with nearly a decade supporting Winnipeg's Inkster community.

Her most recent achievement is as  a Communicable Disease Control Coordinator within the Winnipeg Region which she has held for just over a year.  Her role provides regional and Population and Public Health program leadership in immunization and the prevention and management of communicable diseases and outbreaks within the Winnipeg Health Region.


What PPE is worn during home visits?

At minimum we wear a face shield and mask. If needed based on the screening we also wear a gown and gloves.

How does the management of public health differ between regions in the province?

Minimally. The guidelines and forms are provincial so the practice is quite similar though some regions may organize themselves a bit differently.

Is the screening done by Public Health the same as that done by Health Links?

Yes, the screening guidelines are provincial.

Do you have opinions regarding current criticism of the World Health Organization’s management and information provisions globally?

Not formally. We have heard the criticism, but this is the first pandemic of this scale in our career. It's our expectation that everybody has been doing their absolute best with what they had.

Do you have enough PPE? How do you store it and dispose of it?

Yes, we do. There's actually the potential to use less PPE since we are not doing as many home visits as usual. We take PPE and garbage bags in our cars and then dispose of the used PPE when we return to the office.

Are we using antibody tests to designate people as recovered?

No, not formally, though there is a study through University of Manitoba right now that is collecting samples.

Are you concerned about asymptomatic carriers?

Yes. This is why contact tracing is so important and also why the recommendations to maintain physical distance, practice excellent hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette can’t be relaxed even by those feeling well.

How do you see a vaccine rollout?

Right now, there's no formal plan that we're aware of. We expect it would likely roll out similar to how the H1N1 vaccine did with large clinics throughout the province and community clinics in urban centres.

When immunizations are being given - is there any concern about anaphylaxis and the need to provide CPR? Are there any special precautions that would need to be in place?

Absolutely. There are anaphylaxis emergency kits in all the immunization centres and everyone knows how to use them. They’re rarely used but it’s always a concern. There are Shared Health guidelines for resuscitation and those would be followed.

Are you aware if Shared Health has any planning in place for follow up of future anticipated rise in other communicable diseases that aren’t being followed up on because of COVID-19?

We’re aware of a firm plan at this time but this is being talked about.