1 new case of COVID-19 in Manitoba linked to cluster involving temporary foreign workers
New case is a man between the ages of 50 and 59 from the Southern Health Region
There is one new case of COVID-19 in Manitoba, which involves a temporary foreign worker who tested positive for the illness, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Wednesday.
The new case is a man between the ages of 50 and 59 from the Southern Health Region. Roussin says there are now four cases connected with a cluster involving temporary foreign workers in that health region.
The group of 18 temporary foreign workers in the Southern Health Region were split into three cohorts of six. Roussin said each cohort lived together, and all four of the people who have recently tested positive are from the same cohort.
"We don't feel there is any real risk to the public here. People are being self-isolated and it appears this will be a limited cluster," he said at a news conference.
Federal rules require most temporary foreign workers arriving in Canada to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.
When asked whether the people infected were working during a self-isolation period, Roussin said he didn't know.
The total number cases in Manitoba is now 298. Nine of those cases are active.
Roussin says the province's caseload is low, but repeated his message that Manitoba can't become complacent.
"Our biggest risk is importing the virus. We do have a number of processes in place to reduce that risk," he said, referring to health orders that prohibit non-essential travel and a requirement that people who do travel outside Manitoba self-isolate for 14 days after returning.
The latest COVID-19 cases in the province were related to travel or close contact with a person who tested positive, Roussin said, and are not considered community-based transmission.
Nobody is in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19, and the number of deaths linked to the disease remains at seven.
As of Tuesday, an additional 824 lab tests for COVID-19 were performed, bringing the total number of tests performed since early February to 45,923.
Community testing sites in Dauphin and Swan River, Man., have moved and have revised their hours, Shared Health Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa said.
In Dauphin, a drive-thru testing site is now located in the parking lot at the Dauphin Community Health Services Building at 625 Third St. SW, and will be open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Swan River drive-thru testing site has moved to the parking lot at the Swan Valley Primary Care Centre at 1000 Main St. and is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The province also announced on Wednesday that visitor access at Manitoba hospitals and health centres will gradually be expanded.
"We know that the last few months have been incredibly difficult for patients and their families," Siragusa said, adding that she and Roussin have received numerous letters sharing "honest feedback" about the policy around visitor access.
She says under the new rules, most in-patients who are in hospital short-term, or less than 14 days, will be able to designate one person who can visit once a day. Patients who are staying longer than two weeks will be able to see two different visitors for the duration of their stay in hospital.
Most visitors will be expected to come one at a time, except for patients under 14.
For labour and delivery, mothers can identify two support people. Two people can visit at the same time, and one person can stay overnight.
For patients receiving end-of-life care, a maximum of four different people can visit, and two can visit at the same time.
Siragusa says designated support people must not have travelled recently or show any symptoms of COVID-19.
"We believe these new guidelines strike a balance between protecting staff and patients, minimizing the spread of COVID, as well as ensuring that those vital connections with loved ones help to promote health and healing," she said.
The new visitor rules will be phased in starting on Friday.
WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | June 3, 2020:
Latest local news
- No return to school in sight for Manitoba kids with complex health issues during pandemic
- Police investigate stabbing on Sargent Avenue
- Manitoba moves to loosen COVID-19 hospital visitor restrictions