‘Early signs’ of community transmission in Winnipeg: Chief Public Health Officer

By | April 1, 2020

WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials say there are early signs of community transmission of COVID-19 in the province.

Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, made the announcement during his daily update Wednesday afternoon.

“I can confirm that public health officials are seeing early signs of community transmission in Winnipeg,” Roussin said. “Public health investigations have not been able to confirm if several cases have had any connection to travel or to other confirmed cases.”

“We knew to expect this,” he said. “As more and more cases are introduced into a jurisdiction, community transmission is going to be inevitable.”

During Wednesday’s daily update Roussin announced that 24 new cases of COVID-19, both probable positive and lab-confirmed, had been reported.

With these new cases, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba is now 127.

Deaths from COVID-19 in Manitoba remain at one. As of Wednesday morning, four people have been hospitalized with three people in intensive care. Four people have recovered from COVID-19, Roussin said.

Roussin once again urged Manitobans to stay at home as much as possible to help slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

“I can’t stress this enough,” he said. “We see our numbers increasing over time, we have seen serious and significant outcomes.”

He said if you have to go out for essentials, do it alone if you can, and only go out for necessities.

“This is our chance to interrupt the transmission of this virus, but we rely on all Manitobans to do their part,” Roussin said.

COVID-19 AMONG HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Roussin confirmed Wednesday that cases of the virus have been identified in workers at St. Boniface Hospital and Grace Hospital.

“Public health investigations are continuing, and any close contacts will be contacted directly by Public Health,” he said.

On Tuesday, the province announced a staff member at Selkirk Regional Health Centre has tested positive.

New screening measures are coming into effect for all healthcare workers beginning on Wednesday.

All staff arriving for the start of their shift to have their temperature taken and be required to answer questions about any symptoms they have, their travel history and their exposure to positive COVID-19 cases, the province said.

Staff required to come and go during the course of their shift may be re-screened upon re-entry into facilities and service areas. 

On Monday, 1,130 tests were completed at Cadham Provincial Laboratory, bringing the total of tests to 10,044. 

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