There are 15 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Thursday, nine of them in the Winnipeg health region, provincial officials said.
There were two cases each in the Interlake-Eastern, Prairie Mountain and Southern Health regions, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference with Health Minister Cameron Friesen.
Several of the new cases are close contacts of known cases of COVID-19, Roussin said. Investigations into those cases continue, and more information will be released if there’s a public health risk identified.
The student at Winnipeg’s Churchill High School who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday got the news at school and left when they learned the test result, Roussin said.
The student didn’t have COVID-19 symptoms, so wasn’t required to stay home while waiting for the test result, he said.
The student did everything that was asked of them, and intense attention on this case could cause people to avoid testing in the future, Roussin said.
The risk of contagion in the school is low, because the student practised physical distancing and wore a mask, he said.
Two cases were also removed from the province’s total on Thursday. One was determined to be someone from outside the province and the other was a duplicate, Roussin said.
Over the past week, 22 of Winnipeg’s new COVID-19 cases have been deemed community spread, Roussin said.
There are now 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba, Roussin said, including three in intensive care.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is now 1.2 per cent, and the province’s active caseload is 360, he said.
To date, 1,002 people in Manitoba have recovered from COVID-19; 16 people have died. There have been 1,378 cases of the illness detected in Manitoba.
The province also announced two more potential COVID-19 exposure locations.
One was at the Lilac Resort on the Trans-Canada Highway near Ste. Anne, Man., from Sept. 1 to 3.
The other was on Air Canada Flight AC 295 from Winnipeg to Vancouver on Sept. 5. People sitting in rows 19 to 25 need to self-isolate for 14 days following the flight and watch for symptoms. Anyone on the flight, but not in the affected rows, should still watch for symptoms but doesn’t need to self-isolate.
The province will start breaking down Winnipeg COVID-19 cases into 12 separate districts on Friday, Roussin said.
That change comes in response to demand from Manitobans for more detailed data about where people in Winnipeg who contract the illness caused by the novel coronavirus live.
The COVID-19 test site at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man., will close permanently after Sept. 12, the province said. People who need to get tested in the southwestern Manitoba city should go to the Brandon Town Centre testing site.
Provincial health officials reminded people to stay home when they’re sick, wash their hands, cover their coughs and physically distance (or wear a mask when that’s not possible).
People without COVID-19 symptoms still aren’t being advised to get tested for the illness, unless recommended by public health officials.
The province recently revealed that two people died and more than two dozen were infected in a COVID-19 outbreak at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre at the end of March.
The information came out in an epidemiology report that was completed in July but made public last week.
That report also detailed an outbreak at an unnamed business this spring where 24 workers and close contacts were infected and one person from Winnipeg died.
On Wednesday, 1,173 more COVID-19 tests were done in the province, bringing the total done in Manitoba since early February to 150,350.
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