A third person who had COVID-19 has died and there are 13 new cases of the illness in Manitoba, public health officials say.
The province’s third COVID-19-related death involved a Winnipeg man in his 60s who had underlying medical conditions, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Tuesday. The man was in intensive care before his death.
“We are all collectively taking actions right now to flatten the curve, to interrupt the transmission of this virus, and again to minimize the sad days like we have today,” Roussin said.
“I extend my condolences to the family and friends.”
There are now 217 confirmed and probable cases of the disease in the province.
That number includes 21 people diagnosed with COVID-19 who have recovered as well as the three people who have died, meaning there are 193 active cases — those where people are still experiencing symptoms of the illness — in the province as of Tuesday.
Twelve COVID-19 patients are currently in hospital, including six people in intensive care, Roussin said at the Tuesday public briefing.
“We’re likely going to be dealing with this virus for some time, until there’s a vaccine.… That could be much time in the future.”
The province is also investigating a respiratory illness outbreak in a medical unit at Health Sciences Centre, Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said.
All people who were exposed were tested for COVID-19 and are self-isolating for 14 days, unless their COVID-19 tests come back negative or their symptoms go away within 24 hours, Siragusa said.
Tests are being done on eight staff members and three patients to determine the cause of the illness. Another staff member and another patient who have no symptoms also are being tested.
None of them were working while symptomatic, she said.
The Cadham Provincial Lab performed 781 tests on Monday. In total, 14,280 tests have been done in the province.
New COVID-19 units, assessment facilities
The first patients have been admitted to isolation units at St. Boniface and Grace hospitals in addition to Health Sciences Centre, Siragusa said.
These units are for people who are in need of hospitalization but not intensive care, she said.
A community COVID-19 testing and assessment clinic will open Wednesday at the St. James-Assiniboia Centennial Pool and Fitness Centre at 644 Parkdale St., Siragusa said.
This clinic, and others that are in the works, will offer 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.
Siragusa says this new facility will provide a dedicated space for sick people and will allow other clinics in the province to focus on “the day-to-day, getting people through with just primary care, and the episodic issues that they need to deal with.”
“So just helping really streamline the population and keep a focus.”
The assessment clinic will not see patients on a walk-in basis, only by appointment.
Siragusa also spoke more about the call for proposals put out on Friday for non-hospital facilities for low-needs patients in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.
The province’s request for proposal calls for eight sites — four in Winnipeg, two in Brandon and two in Thompson — that can be used to provide care for patients who don’t necessarily have to be in hospital.
These facilities are meant to be a proactive, not a reactive measure, Siragusa says.
“I think, depending on how these numbers go, we’re just going to have to be prepared to manage higher COVID volumes, and making sure they’re safe, they’re isolated and the public is protected as well.”
WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | April 7, 2020
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