Health minister, chief public health officer to give COVID-19 update

By | August 6, 2020

Manitoba’s twice-weekly COVID-19 briefing returns Thursday afternoon.

It comes as more workers at a Brandon pork processing facility tested positive for the new coronavirus and the provincial government faces calls to disclose more specific information about where new cases occur.

It also comes after it was revealed a health-care volunteer tested positive for the virus on July 23 and has since recovered.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Health Minister Cameron Friesen will deliver the update at 1 p.m. CST. CBC News will live stream the briefing here.

Public health officials faced criticism earlier this week after the province announced a spike in new cases over the long weekend. The new cases were announced over social media without any of the details that are included in COVID-19 bulletins released on weekdays, such as the regions where the cases occurred.

On Wednesday, Manitoba ombudsman Jill Perron told CBC News in a statement that the province could release more specific geographic information about where cases occur, as long as it did not pose a risk of identifying individual cases.

The union representing workers at the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon said on Thursday that three more workers tested positive for the virus, in addition to a worker who tested positive earlier. The union is calling for the plant to shut down.

Friesen said earlier on Thursday that he won’t comment on the situation at the Brandon plant.

Two more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Manitoba on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 444. There were 94 active cases, and nine people in hospital — five of them in intensive care.

The rolling five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate was 0.44 per cent.

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