As the number of identified COVID-19 cases in Manitoba continues to climb, a Winnipeg hotel is set to open as a space for people who have been advised to stay away from others but need help doing that.
The space is scheduled to open this weekend, Manitoba Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
Siragusa said more information about the isolation centre — like where it is and how people can be referred there — will be announced soon.
“We just need to get our processes and our staff in place,” she said.
Isolation centres are being set up in the province for people who have been directed to self-isolate and may need extra support to do so, Siragusa said.
These centres will follow public health guidelines and require people staying there to self-isolate in their rooms at all times, and will use enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices.
At the same news conference, health officials announced 12 new cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, bringing Manitoba’s total to 194.
Ten of those patients are in the hospital, with six of them in intensive care, Manitoba chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.
Siragusa said 14 of the people known to have contacted the disease in the province work in health care — 12 in the Winnipeg area and two in the Interlake area. The total number of deaths in the province related to COVID-19 remains at two.
No more nursing home cases
No residents at Betel Home in Gimli have tested positive for COVID-19 after nine people at the long-term care home showed symptoms of respiratory illness following a worker testing positive, Roussin said.
He said no further cases have been detected at Actionmarguerite — a care home in the city’s St. Vital area for francophone seniors requiring personal and long-term care services — after a worker there tested positive for COVID-19.
Roussin could not provide an update on the Poseidon Care Centre in River Heights, which announced a patient there tested positive for COVID-19 and was taken to hospital.
Roussin said people in Manitoba should not be going to any family gatherings to celebrate upcoming holidays like Easter.
“It’s the norm for many Manitobans to get together, sometimes in large family gatherings. Now, unfortunately, is not the time for that,” he said.
WATCH | Dr. Brent Roussin says families should consider postponing gatherings:
He said there is evidence in other jurisdictions that COVID-19 has been spread from people at these kinds of events.
Siragusa said public health officials will now only announce some information once a week, including numbers and information on Health Links, negative test reporting and screening sites.
Manitoba’s Cadham lab performed 567 COVID-19 tests on Friday. As of Saturday, a total of 12,514 tests have been performed.
The province is postponing dates for making campground reservations scheduled for April 6 and April 8. Existing campground, group-use and yurt reservations are still valid, but may be cancelled if the situation changes.
Public health officials are urging people to stay in or near their home communities and limit even travel within the province to essential trips, because services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors get sick.
WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | April 4, 2020:
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