2 new cases of COVID-19 found at workplace in Prairie Mountain Health region

By | May 6, 2020

There are two more people at a business in Manitoba’s Prairie Mountain Health region who tested positive for COVID-19.

That means seven people at that workplace have the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Health officials first announced the outbreak on Tuesday, when five were diagnosed.

The workplace is not a health-care facility nor a food supply company, and doesn’t have significant interaction with the public, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.

Roussin would not name the company, citing privacy.

Most of the contact-tracing investigation into the cases at the workplace is already complete, he said, though he would not say how large the business is or how many people associated with it are being tested for COVID-19.

The grey bars illustrate the daily reported cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, while the red line is the cumulative total. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

If public health officials believe there is an increased risk to the public, they will release more information about the outbreak, he said.

Roussin did not rule out the chance that there could be more cases identified at the workplace, as contact tracing for the two new patients continues.

“It’s certainly possible,” he said. “We’re still in the incubation period for many of the contacts.”

The two additional cases at the southwestern Manitoba workplace were the only new cases announced on Wednesday. The update brings the total number of cases detected in the province to 284.

The yellow represents people in hospital intensive care units, red is other hospitalized COVID-19 patients and black represents deaths in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

While the number of new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba remains low, people still need to keep working to slow the spread of the virus — even if their health region hasn’t had any new cases in weeks, Roussin said.

“That shouldn’t change people’s behaviour,” he said. 

“No matter where you are in the province, I would not let up on the idea of physical distancing, I would not let up on the idea of washing your hands frequently, and I certainly wouldn’t let up on the idea of staying home when you’re ill.”

There are five people in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19; none are in intensive care.

This chart illustrates the ages of COVID-19 patients in Manitoba, with red representing female patients. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Health officials said 546 health-care staff and first responders were tested for COVID-19 from April 29 to May 5.

Since Manitoba’s first cases of the illness were identified in March, there have been 25 health-care workers who tested positive for COVID-19 in cases that were not related to travel. Of those, 23 have recovered and returned to work.

There are 35 active cases of the illness caused by the new coronavirus, and 242 people have recovered.

The number of people in the province who have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19 is still seven.

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