Eighteen health-care workers in the Winnipeg health region and two in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority have tested positive for COVID-19, Shared Health’s chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said Wednesday.
Of the 18 in Winnipeg, 10 are health-care workers from the Health Sciences Centre who were exposed to an outbreak that Siragusa announced at a previous news conference, she confirmed.
“This outbreak is obviously very concerning to all of us, and protecting our staff and our patients is of utmost important to us,” she said.
Four more people in Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the total of presumed and lab-confirmed cases in the province up to 221, says Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
Three people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the province have died so far, and 69 people have recovered from the virus, Roussin said Wednesday.
That leaves the current number of active cases — those where people are still experiencing symptoms of the illness — at 149, down from 193 on Tuesday.
But that doesn’t mean Manitobans can expect life to return to normal any time soon.
“Manitobans should not interpret the current case numbers to mean that our risk is reduced,” he said.
Roussin says the low number of new cases may reflect the effect strict physical distancing measures have had, but he doubled down on the message that those measures must continue and that Manitoba hasn’t yet flattened the curve.
“I need to make this clear now is not the time to let our guards down. These next few weeks are critical in Manitobans’ response,” he said.
Twelve people are currently in hospital with the illness, including six people in intensive care.
The Cadham Provincial Lab performed 477 tests on Tuesday. A total of 14,708 tests have been performed since early February.
Siragusa also said Wednesday Manitoba has only received “a fraction” of the millions of dollars worth of personal protective equipment it has ordered, due to the disruption with the medical supplier 3M.
She added the equipment is in Canada — it’s just a matter of getting it to Manitoba and into the hands of those who needed it.
A community COVID-19 testing and assessment clinic opened Wednesday at the St. James-Assiniboia Centennial Pool and Fitness Centre at 644 Parkdale St., Siragusa said.
The clinic offers primary care services on an appointment basis for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or has respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, in an effort to keep these people away from the general public.
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