Parts of downtown Winnipeg office tower cleansed after property manager told of COVID-19 case
Province does not confirm the case and suggests there's no threat to public health
Property management company Colliers Canada cleansed portions of a downtown Winnipeg office building after the firm says it was told of a COVID-19 case at the tower.
Some offices and communal areas within 330 St. Mary Avenue were sanitized after a tenant informed Colliers on Sunday about "one confirmed and one possible case of COVID-19," said Darren Klassen, vice-president of Manitoba real estate management for Colliers Canada, said in a statement Monday.
"Both individuals are currently in self-isolation and updates on the situation are being provided to Colliers' property and risk management teams," Klassen said in the statement.
"While we can not comment further on their individual status due to privacy considerations, our thoughts are with them and we are taking all appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of our employees and tenants."
Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin would neither confirm or deny anyone within the building has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
He said generally, the public would be notified if there is any threat to public health.
Public health investigators look for prolonged, close contact and only notify affected people about a COVID-19 exposure risk, public health spokesperson Paul Turenne said in a statement.
"Public health reminds building owners and managers that enhanced cleaning will help reduce the risk. Wiping down and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces (door handles, elevator buttons) will go a long way to reducing this risk," he said.
Klassen said Colliers Canada acted proactively to notify tenants within the tower and a neighbouring building it also manages and began an "intensive cleaning of affected office spaces and communal areas."
The firm said it's also sanitizing "high-touch points" throughout the building's common areas.
"At present, the building remains open; however, we are encouraging all tenants to consider remote working arrangements," he said.
Manitoba has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19, and one presumptive case, all involving patients who travelled internationally. There is no evidence the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease is jumping from patient to patient in Manitoba, Roussin said.