Outbreak protocols in place at Brandon hospital building, with 35 more cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Sunday

By | August 30, 2020

A Brandon, Man., hospital has brought in outbreak protocols after three cases of COVID-19 were linked to a unit in one of its buildings, the provincial government says in a news release.

The previously announced cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region are connected to the second floor of the Brandon Regional Health Centre’s Assiniboine Centre, the release says.

The building is on the east side of the hospital’s main building, a provincial spokesperson says.

The province did not say whether the people with COVID-19 at the site are patients or staff.

Though the risk is low, the development has prompted the site to introduce the outbreak protocols, including restricted visits, as a precaution. That floor will be moved to the critical level — the red level — on the province’s pandemic response system, the release says.

It’s the third site in Brandon to have declared a COVID-19 outbreak this week. Those protocols were initiated at the southwestern Manitoba city’s Hillcrest Place care home on Saturday and at its Rideau Park Personal Care Home on Thursday.

One employee testing positive at each site set those measures in motion. So far, no residents at either home are known to have contracted the illness.

Thirty-five more people in Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday morning.

Seventeen of the new cases are in the Winnipeg Health region, 12 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, five are in the Southern Health region and one is in the Interlake-Eastern Health region, the release says.

Initial investigations show eight of the new cases are close contacts of known cases, the release says, though those investigations are ongoing.

In Winnipeg, there are roughly 17.6 active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

There are now 462 active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, the release says, as that number continues to climb to new record levels in the province. Of those, 138 are in the Winnipeg health district, surpassing the city’s previous record of 126 active cases on April 4, according to the province’s online COVID-19 data portal.

More than half of Manitoba’s active cases are still in its Prairie Mountain Health region, which has 243 active cases as of Sunday, that portal says.

The province’s test positivity rate — a rolling, five-day average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is down slightly to 2.2 per cent.

The red line represent’s Manitoba’s test positivity rate over time. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Information on how many people with COVID-19 are in hospital was not updated because of upgrades to the province’s data system this weekend, and is expected to be available on Monday, the release says.

Outbreak protocols are also in place at three care homes in Manitoba that have been touched by the illness, including the two in Brandon.

That list also includes the Bethesda Place personal care home in Steinbach, Man., where two residents with COVID-19 died earlier this week. The fatalities brought Manitoba’s total COVID-19 death toll to 14.

That site declared an outbreak on Aug. 17. To date, eight people there have tested positive for COVID-19, including one other resident and five staff.

Face masks are now mandatory in all city-run spaces in Winnipeg, including on Winnipeg Transit buses.

Meanwhile, new public health orders are now in effect in Manitoba that allow the province to immediately fine self-isolation rule breakers $486 daily.

Sunday’s new COVID-19 cases are spread out across seven of Manitoba’s health districts. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

To date, 1,186 cases of the illness have been announced and 710 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Manitoba, the release says.

On Saturday, 1,542 more COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, bringing the total number completed in the province since early February to 134,920, the release says.

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