Manitoba health officials announce 1 new COVID-19 case, 205 recoveries

Manitoba public health officials have identified one new case of COVID-19, bringing the total number since March to 272.

Total number of cases since first one on March 12 is now 272

Health care workers put on personal protective equipment before testing at a drive-thru COVID-19 assessment centre at the Etobicoke General Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Health officials and the government have asked that people stay inside to help curb the spread of the coronavirus also known as COVID-19. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba public health officials have identified one new case of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 272.

There are currently 61 active cases with seven people in hospital and two of those in intensive care.

The number of deaths remains at six.

Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Shared Health, also announced that starting Friday, Manitoba health-care workers will only be allowed to work in one personal care home (PCH).

Staff with the most direct, prolonged contact with care home patients will be restricted to one facility for six months. This will apply to both private and public facilities, she said.

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Tool kits have been issued to all 127 licensed personal care homes in the province to help them implement the changes, said Siragusa. It is a tight timeline but a necessary one, she said.

The province is aware some employees work at two, three or even more sites, she said. Officials will try to ensure they get all of their hours in one place instead.


Officials in Saskatchewan have said some things should be reopened as early as May 4, while Quebec has said the reopening of some elementary schools is imminent.

"We're going to announce the detailed plan this week," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin, said when asked on Monday when Manitobans could start to see the start of non-essential businesses reopening.

However, he did not give an exact day.

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It's a question Roussin has been asked many times and has said the province is hoping to ease those measures somewhat in the upcoming weeks.

"Again it's not a return to normal. There'll be a number of restrictions on that," he said.


As for sending students back to school before the end of this school year, Roussin said that has been discussed as part of the re-open plan.

"We know that, unlike the influenza and unlike many other respiratory illnesses, young children seem not to be big spreaders of COVID-19. So that's why there's some push to returning some kids to school," he said, but noted that doesn't mean it is without risk.

"The risk is just the pure volume — there's lots of kids to return there and we don't want more spread, even though it seems to be less likely in children."

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Canada's deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, has told federal and provincial health officials there are a number of identified criteria that must be met when it comes to relaxing restrictions around the pandemic.

Those include ensuring each province has evidence that transmission of COVID-19 is well controlled in their borders and that public health systems can properly diagnose infections and do contact tracing.

But the full list of criteria has not been released. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked Monday when that list would be made public.

He said they are still being finalized but include things like making sure there is enough medical capacity to handle a surge of cases, enough testing is in place, and establishing protocol for how industries will keep people safe.

He also called them "shared guidelines" agreed to by all provinces and territories, not federally-mandated ones. Roussin said Manitoba is well positioned for the guidelines.

"We will be meeting them, especially with the measures in the PCH," he said.

"We still have to watch our PPE supplies … but certainly within range of all of those things by the end of the week is where we're looking to be."

Public health officials have announced 272 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)