Health officials in Manitoba have identified two new COVID-19 cases, bringing the province’s total to 275.
There are 220 recovered patients and 49 active cases, with five people in hospital.
There are no patients in intensive care for the second day in a row.
The number of deaths in the province remains at six.
The Manitoba government announced on Thursday the launch of a campaign called Shine a Blue Light, urging people to turn on a blue light at night as a symbol of support for health care workers.
Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Manitoba Shared Health, said it will help boost the morale and spirit of health-care staff, first responders and essential workers.
She also said public health orders restricting staff from working in more than one licensed personal care home have been signed and will take effect May 1. The single-site restriction is intended to provide additional protection against the introduction or spread of COVID-19 within personal care homes, Siragusa said.
Planning has been underway to ensure the change is implemented quickly while ensuring stable staffing and service continuity, she said.
Of the 127 licensed personal care homes in Manitoba, 121 have said they’re ready, with work continuing to address staffing issues at the remaining sites by the weekend, she said.
“This has been a monumental task to plan,” Siragusa said.
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On Wednesday, the province unveiled broad plans for easing restrictions and reopening the economy. As of May 4, a variety of non-essential health care and retail businesses will have the option of reopening under strict guidelines.
- Non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures.
- Therapeutic and medical services.
- Retail businesses.
- Restaurants — patio/walk-up services.
- Hair salons.
- Museums, galleries and libraries.
- Seasonal day camps.
- Golf courses.
“It is important to note that while some gradual lifting of restrictions has begun, significant work to limit the spread of COVID-19 must continue,” Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said on Thursday.
“Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities. The request to stay home as much as possible is still in place at this time. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.”
Visits to cottages are not recommended at this time as services in smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill, he said.
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