Manitoba

No new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, top doctor says

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and the total number of cases remains at 246, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin says.

New assessment clinic to open Wednesday at Sergeant Tommy Prince Place

Paramedics walk past Grace Hospital in Winnipeg on Monday. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and the total number of cases remains at 246, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin says.

"We need to continue our efforts in our social distancing strategies to limit the spread of this virus. Certainly this may indicate that our efforts are starting to show effect, but now is not the time to loosen up our struggles," he said at the public briefing Tuesday.

"This virus is in every region in Manitoba, so Manitobans, no matter where you are, need to exercise caution, to stay home as much as you can, to practise physical distancing at all times."

There are nine people in hospital with COVID-19, including four people in the intensive care unit, he said.

So far, 99 people have recovered from the illness, and there are 142 active cases — those where patients are still experiencing symptoms of the illness.

The total number of probable and lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba remained at 246 on Tuesday. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Four people have died as a result of the virus.

Roussin says between 53 and 55 per cent of COVID-19 cases are related to travel, while about 25 per cent were caused by direct and prolonged contact with an infected person.

Of the first 121 cases in the province, those people had contact with 397 people, and 27 of those people developed COVID-19, he said.

Roussin says that means there's a "secondary attack rate" in the province of nine per cent.

"Certainly we know a significant proportion of our current cases are close contacts to cases."

He estimated about 10 per cent of cases were caused by community transmission. As for the remaining cases, some are still being investigated to determine the cause.

(CBC)

The Cadham Provincial Lab performed 365 tests on Monday. A total of 17,709 tests have been performed since early February, Roussin said.

"There is no backlog at this point," Roussin said.

He said Manitoba would have to see a week with low case numbers and without any other indications of spread before any thought of easing the restrictions covered by public health order were to come into play. 

The province is currently researching to see if the rapid portable COVID-19 tests, which were approved by Health Canada over the long weekend, could be effective in doing more widespread testing, Roussin said.

"We hope to be able to utilize that as another tool in the near future."

As of Tuesday, nine people were in hospital with COVID-19, including four people in intensive care. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

A second assessment clinic is opening up at Sergeant Tommy Prince Place recreation centre on Wednesday, Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said Tuesday.

The new assessment clinic will take over COVID-19 testing that's been done at Mount Carmel Clinic, she said.

(CBC)

The assessment centre will offer primary care services for people with respiratory symptoms that must be seen in person, as well as those diagnosed with COVID-19. Patients are seen by appointment only. 

'Elevated risk' at personal care homes

Siragusa acknowledged Wednesday that people who live in personal care home face an 'elevated risk' of contracting COVID-19, noting serious outbreaks that have occurred in Canada and around the world.

Public health officials are working to prevent outbreaks in the province, she says.

"I have confirmed that throughout Manitoba the staffing levels at the personal care homes do remain stable, and they are making sure that there are staff available to provide service to the residents in the home," Siragusa said.

She added that additional protective equipment like masks, gowns and gloves will be delivered to care homes across Manitoba this week and next.

In an effort to reduce spread, Siragusa says food deliveries to health care facilities will no longer be accepted in cardboard or Styrofoam containers. They must be wrapped in plastic, and individually wrapped where possible so they can be wiped down with disinfectant.

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | April 14, 2020:

Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Tuesday, April 14, 2020. 43:43

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