Manitoba has its first death related to COVID-19, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin says.
Manitoba health officials gave the update at a news conference Friday morning.
The patient who died was a woman in her 60s who was in intensive care.
Roussin said news of the province’s first death from the coronavirus will likely raise anxiety levels in Manitoba — but it’s important to not let fear take over, and to keep doing what you can to limit the virus’s spread.
“It’s a tragic loss. It’s a Manitoban that we lost, and our hearts go out to their friends and family,” Roussin said. “But this is our time to act now. Stay home if you can.”
Three additional probable cases of the coronavirus have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable cases in Manitoba to 39.
Public health investigations are underway to determine more details and which other people may have been exposed.
Roussin said contact tracing — tracking down the people a confirmed COVID-19 patient might have passed the virus to — sounds like a big job, but the health-care workers who are taking the lead on it do it often for other illnesses, like meningitis.
“It does sound daunting,” he said.
“They do this all the time, and they deal with different scenarios, so we rely on their expertise and they perform their jobs quite well.”
While a number of identified COVID-19 cases in Manitoba were likely spread by known contact with confirmed cases, there is still no determination of widespread or sustained community-based transmission in the province, Roussin said.
He said he is not aware of any other COVID-19 patients being in the hospital as of 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Manitoba has received COVID-19 test results for 6,203 people in the province. On Thursday, 606 tests were completed.
Roussin said Manitoba will provide information about the gender, age, region and recovery of COVID-19 patients online, which is in line with what other provinces have done.
Manitoba Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said the average wait time for Health Links has gone down again to 18 minutes. The busy signal people were getting also has been eliminated, she said.
At an earlier news conference on Friday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Health Minister Cameron Friesen announced they will spend $4.5 million on delivering cognitive behavioural therapy online to address anxiety related to the pandemic.
More than 4,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed across Canada, while over half a million have been confirmed around the globe.
On Thursday, public health officials announced the province is expanding the criteria for testing to include symptomatic health-care workers and people who live or work in remote communities or group settings, like correctional facilities, shelters, long-term care or residential facilities and remote work camps.
Latest local news:
View original article here Source