Manitoba

Temporary foreign worker, 2 truckers were Manitoba's last 3 COVID-19 cases

The two travel-related Manitoba cases of COVID-19 announced Thursday were truck drivers with "multiple routes" in the U.S., Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says.

Dr. Brent Roussin says all 3 patients followed the rules, so contacts should be limited

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, speaks at a provincial COVID-19 update in Winnipeg on March 30. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

The two travel-related Manitoba cases of COVID-19 announced Thursday were truck drivers with "multiple routes" in the U.S., Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says.

The drivers felt symptomatic after their last trip, self-isolated and then got tested, "and there is unlikely to be any significant contacts in the community in this regard," Roussin said Monday.

"Because of Manitoba's numbers being favourable, we know that our major risk is to importing this virus from outside of Manitoba," he said about the cases.

Manitoba's latest case, announced Sunday, was a temporary foreign worker in his 60s in the southern health region who also behaved appropriately, so there should be limited contacts, Roussin said.

There were 18 other people working at the same place as the temporary foreign worker; none are showing symptoms, but all are being tested, he said.

WATCH |  Truckers can volunteer for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing:

Dr. Roussin says truckers who have to leave the province for work can choose to be tested for COVID-19. 0:46

There is little to no risk to the public in these cases, but Roussin said he disclosed information about them so the public knows where there are potential risks.

"As we're reopening in Phase 2, we want people to be aware of where the risk is and if it's travel-related, or if it's controlled, it shouldn't be a concern with the continuation of our reopening plans," he said.

No new cases of COVID-19 were found in Manitoba as of 9 a.m. Monday.

There remain 10 active cases in the province. No COVID-19 patients are in hospital.

There were 806 COVID-19 tests done on Monday, pushing the total done since February to 44,692.

That means about 3.3 per cent of Manitoba's population has been tested for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.​​​​​​

The grey bars illustrate COVID-19 cases each day in Manitoba, with the last one showing the single case on June 1. The red line represents the cumulative total number of cases. (Jacques Marcoux)

Hospital tries outdoor visits

Manitoba Shared Health has created new guidelines for visiting patients staying in hospital, said Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer.

The guidelines are being looked over now, but Siragusa expects to hear back about them some time this week.

"It will ease the burden that I know many of you are feeling, and I appreciate how difficult this has been, so we're looking forward to sharing that with you soon," Siragusa said.

The number of COVID-19 tests performed in Manitoba each day is illustrated by the grey bars, while the red line illustrates the weekly average number of tests. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

In the meantime, Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg started a pilot project on Monday, allowing medically stable patients to have outdoor visits, similar to those now allowed at personal care homes.

Personal care homes now allow patients to have two visitors at a time. When visitors arrive at a facility, they're screened for symptoms, travel history and possible exposure to COVID-19.

Physical distancing and proper hand hygiene are also required.

The number of tests done in Manitoba per 100,000 residents is on the lower end of testing rates in Canada. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | June 1, 2020:

Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Monday, June 1, 2020. 31:30

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About the Author

Nicholas Frew is an online reporter with CBC News. Hailing from Newfoundland, Frew moved to Halifax to attend journalism school. Prior to joining the CBC, Frew interned at the Winnipeg Free Press. Story idea? Email him at nick.frew@cbc.ca

With files from Caitlyn Gowriluk and Aidan Geary

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