Manitoba

Lynn Lake CAO says Manitoba town taking surge of COVID-19 cases 'in hand'

The chief administrative officer of a Manitoba town facing a spike in COVID-19 cases says the community and community members are working to get the surge under control.

35 out of 209 households under isolation orders in northwestern Manitoba town

As of Wednesday, Lynn Lake had 121 known active cases of COVID-19. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The chief administrative officer of a Manitoba town facing a spike in COVID-19 cases says the community and community members are working to get the surge under control.

"I think people are just, you know, taking it in hand," said Tom Matus, CAO of Lynn Lake. "Those who don't have the [virus], you know, are certainly being extra careful, I'm sure."

As of Wednesday, there were 121 known active cases of COVID-19 in Lynn Lake, which reported a total population of 494 in the last census.

On Thursday, Matus said 35 out of 209 households are under isolation orders in the community about 815 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

"People are taking it to heart and starting to self-isolate and, you know, stay off the streets more or less — wearing their masks, not congregating in large groups," he said.

"We're seeing a lot of compliance now, so I believe things will get better in the next week or two."

Manitoba's Can Task Force 4 team (CAN-TF 4) has been enlisted to help the community with patrolling, wellness checks and food deliveries, especially to isolating houesholds. On Thursday morning, Matus said the team was expected to arrive during the day.

"We're getting a handle on it and beginning to get assistance from outside the community," he said.

Testing is also continuing, he said, with multiple nurses working to test the entire community as soon as possible.

"They're really doing a concerted effort here to get everybody tested."

Cases 'exploded' after holidays: CAO

Matus spent the holidays in northern B.C. and is currently self-isolating. Earlier in December, he said the community had very few cases of COVID-19, and leadership expected a quiet holiday season.

But the numbers skyrocketed in the past week to 10 days, he said.

"It exploded all at one time. It's obviously something that happened over the Christmas holidays," he said.

Since the numbers started rising, he said he's seen an improvement in compliance around the community. He's hopeful numbers will begin to drop in the coming weeks.

"I think people are taking this to heart, and taking it seriously and doing ... what they can to protect themselves and stay safe," he said.

With files from Erin Brohman

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