Manitoba

Woman in her 80s dies of COVID-19 in Manitoba, province's 6th death

A woman in her 80s who had COVID-19 has died, and there is one additional case of the coronavirus in Manitoba, health officials said Monday.

1 new case of COVID-19 in province brings total to 254

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, and Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health, give daily updates on COVID-19 in the province. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

A woman in her 80s who had COVID-19 has died, and there is one additional case of the coronavirus in Manitoba, health officials said Monday.

The woman, who was from Winnipeg, had underlying health conditions and was in intensive care when she died, said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer.

"We're extending our condolences to her family and friends," he said.

There are now 254 confirmed and probable cases of the virus in the province.

There are eight people in hospital with COVID-19, including five people in intensive care.

In Manitoba, 144 people have recovered from the virus and there are 105 active cases, Roussin said.

As of April 17, there were 250 known cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

"I think that the numbers that we've been seeing are a reflection of Manitobans' hard work and dedication to protecting themselves, the people around them and our entire community," he said.

"But we still need caution. This virus is still here."

Dr. Roussin announced one new case of COVID-19 on Monday, bring the total number of confirmed and probable cases in Manitoba to 254. But the number of active cases has been dropping since the first week of April. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Roussin and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced an extension of the province's state of emergency until May 18. 

The state of emergency allows the government to take emergency action in response to the pandemic, including making public health orders under the Public Health Act.

The standing public health orders, including those that restricting group sizes, enforce self isolation after international and domestic travel and restricting travel to the north are in place until May 1.

Pallister announced Manitoba will ramp up its testing capacity for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 by expanding criteria of people who can be tested and purchasing more Spartan Cubes, which offer rapid results.

WATCH | Dr. Roussin on testing more Manitobans for COVID-19

Manitoba is working to increase COVID-19 testing by expanding the criteria of people it tests and introducing new technology. 2:13

"What we are doing is working, and we must continue doing everything we can to continue flattening the COVID curve," Pallister said.

Public health officials are still validating the cubes, Roussin said, but more will come mid-May when the validation is done.

As of April 20, eight people in Manitoba are in hospital due to COVID-19 - five of whom are in ICU. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Manitoba will aim to test 2,000 people per day, Pallister said.

The number of people the province is testing right now is appropriate for the number of cases in Manitoba, Roussin said. The province will ramp up testing capabilities so it can deal with any a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"If we see increasing prevalence and increasing numbers, we're going to want to have that capacity in place," he said.

The graph shows the number of total COVID-19 cases in each province. Manitoba, shown as the red line, is seeing a plateau in its case count. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Last week, public health officials announced expanded testing criteria to include all symptomatic workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services.

"This includes people working in transportation, manufacturing and grocery stores or other essential businesses," Roussin said on Monday.

Testing for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues to increase in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Testing will also be done on symptomatic people who live with a health-care worker, a first responder or a worker in any place where large groups of people stay, such as correctional facilities, shelters, long-term care homes or residential facilities.

The Cadham Provincial Lab performed 260 tests on Sunday. A total of 20,012 tests has been performed since early February.

Hospitals in Manitoba are now exploring how they can bring back some non-urgent diagnostic and surgical procedures for a period of time, said Lanette Siragusa, Shared Health's chief nursing officer.

This week, staff at Health Sciences Centre will do some oncology procedures in both the main operating room and at Women's Hospital, she said.

Last month, public health officials began scaling back some procedures in order to prioritize treating COVID-19 and protect vulnerable people from contracting the virus.

Siragusa asked people who have had their surgeries postponed to be mindful of their health status and let their doctors know if things change.

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | April 20, 2020:

Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Monday, April 20, 2020. 49:02

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