Manitoba has reached its 13th straight day with no new cases of COVID-19.
No new cases of the virus were identified as of Monday morning, public health officials said.
There is now only one active case of the virus in Manitoba, while the number of cases identified in the province since the pandemic began remains at 325, said Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer.
In total, 71,559 tests for COVID-19 have been performed in Manitoba. There were 798 tests on Friday, 1,149 on Saturday and 573 on Sunday.
Roussin said Manitobans have to remain vigilant despite the low case numbers, and the fall flu season is coming up.
“This virus is not done with us,” he said. “We need to adhere to the principles that got us here.”
As they plan for fall, health officials are trying to increase the number of people vaccinated against the flu this year, said Lanette Siragusa, Manitoba Shared Health chief nursing officer.
In the last month, most of the cases have been related to travel, and there hasn’t been evidence of community-based transmission, Roussin said.
Still, he stressed that it would only take a few imported cases, or an outbreak, to bring Manitoba back to the same situation it was in a few months ago.
Asked what he would say to businesses who question why restrictions remain in place despite low case counts, Roussin said he didn’t want Manitoba to be like other jurisdictions that rolled back restrictions quickly, and saw their case numbers spike.
“The last thing we want to do is go backwards, to move so quickly that we end up having to put restrictions on again. We want to do it in a safe way.”
Manitoba is now in Phase 3 of its reopening strategy, which lifted occupancy restrictions for retail businesses, restaurants, bars and beverage rooms, among other changes.
Going forward, Roussin said there won’t be a Phase 4, but that the province will move to a “rapid response system” that will allow it to tighten — or loosen — restrictions if it sees case numbers change, and keep Manitobans updated on the level of risk of COVID-19 in the province based on a variety of factors.
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