Brandon trucking company COVID-19 outbreak rises to 10 cases
2 weekend cases were close contacts of COVID-19-positive people from workplace cluster
There are two more cases of COVID-19 related to an outbreak at the Brandon location of a trucking company, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says.
The two new cases related to the workplace cluster were discovered on the weekend; they are close contacts of Paul's Hauling employees who tested positive for the virus, but they don't work there.
Ten cases of the illness have now been connected with the office on Richmond Avenue E. in Brandon.
"We want to remind everyone that we have not returned to normal, that this virus is still circulating in our province and if we loosen up too quickly … we could see this virus being transmitted again at higher rates," Roussin said.
There are also two more new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba as of Monday, he said.
Those cases are in the Prairie Mountain Health Region as well, he said, but they aren't connected to the outbreak at Paul's Hauling.
The two cases announced Monday are linked. One is likely the result of community transmission, and the other is a close contact of the first, Roussin said.
"So far it's contained," he said, when asked whether he's worried another cluster is forming.
The total number of presumed and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba is now 289.
There are four people in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19 as of Monday; one of them is in intensive care.
There are 35 active cases and 247 people have recovered from the virus.
As the weather gets warmer, Roussin said he knows people want more freedom to move around, but warned that could cause a resurgence in cases.
He said he won't be loosening restrictions on provincial borders anytime soon, at least until the caseloads drop in other provinces.
"Our risk is high right now for importing this virus to Manitoba, given our numbers," he said.
He's also not planning on relaxing public health orders like mandatory self-isolation for those who travel outside the province for nearly a month to ensure the virus isn't brought into Manitoba.
Mobile testing launched Monday in Winnipeg, said Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health.
It is appointment-based and run by the health region's home care rapid response team. It is for people who are immunocompromised or who are unable to leave their homes to get tested if they show symptoms, she said.
Thunderbird House will open to the public to provide testing for COVID-19 sometime this week, Siragusa said.
"This location will provide access to Winnipeg's homeless and shelter population as well as others," she said.
On Sunday, 374 more COVID-19 tests were completed, bringing the total number of tests since early February to 31,029.
Roussin says anyone who's experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat, should be tested.
"We have much more lab capacity than we're utilizing at this point, so we want symptomatic Manitobans to be tested," he said.
"It's important to quickly diagnose cases so we can do contact investigations. It will increase our ability to limit the impact of this virus as we start to gradually reopen our economy."
After nearly two months of almost daily updates on the status of COVID-19 in the province, Roussin announced he and Siragusa will now only do updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Daily bulletins with case numbers and other information will continue to be sent out.
WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | May 11, 2020:
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