4th COVID-19 patient dies in Manitoba
ICU patient was Winnipeg man in 70s with underlying conditions, top doctor says; total cases now at 230
Manitoba's top doctor announced the province's fourth death related to COVID-19 on Friday — a Winnipeg man in his 70s who ended up in intensive care.
The man had underlying medical conditions, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference.
There have now been four deaths in the province related to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Before the man was hospitalized he was at a personal care home, Roussin said, but it's not believed the man contracted the coronavirus while he was there.
Roussin said he is not aware of any connection between the man who died and any other patients.
Health officials announced six new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Friday, bringing Manitoba's total to 230 — 134 of which are considered active.
Ninety-two people in Manitoba have now recovered from the illness.
Roussin said the province's low number of new case announcements lately suggests physical distancing efforts may be working.
WATCH | Dr. Brent Roussin says proportion of positive tests going down:
He repeated his warnings that people must continue to practise physical distancing, stay home if they're sick, wash their hands regularly, and avoid gatherings and travel.
"I think we moved quickly. There's some evidence that some of our actions have had an effect," he said. "But again, I don't want that to be misinterpreted [to suggest] that our risk is low right now."
Roussin said the province is going to try to keep expanding its rules on who is eligible for COVID-19 testing, but the number of hospitalizations is being monitored for any signs of spread.
He said they're not seeing those numbers climb, and the proportion of positive tests for the coronavirus is going down over time.
All this suggests "we're not likely missing some hidden epidemic right now," he said.
Most hospitalizations men with underlying conditions
There are now 10 people with COVID-19 in hospital in Manitoba, five of whom are in intensive care units.
The patients in intensive care right now range in age from people in their 50s to people in their 70s, said Roussin. Most of the patients are men and most have hypertension.
The age range of Manitobans hospitalized with the disease in general stretches from people in their 20s to people in their 80s, Roussin said.
About two-thirds of those patients are male, and most have respiratory or cardiac conditions, or are diabetic, he said.
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The province's Cadham lab did 962 tests on Thursday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba to 16,220.
Roussin said the province is keeping a close eye on the situation at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, after two employees and one of their close contacts tested positive for COVID-19. He said the health of critical workers like lab employees is important.
People waiting for COVID-19 test results for more than a week should call their health-care provider — not testing sites or Health Links — to follow up, Siragusa said.
WATCH | Dr. Brent Roussin says Manitoba needs to stay vigilant:
Manitoba has opened a self-isolation site for people experiencing homelessness as of today in Winnipeg. The site has 39 units for people who have tested positive for, or are suspected to have, COVID-19.
The first 10 units opened today and are not designed for drop-in or self-referral. Clients need a referral from shelter sites, testing sites or care providers within the health system.
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