Selkirk health-care worker diagnosed with COVID-19

By | March 31, 2020

A health-care worker at Selkirk Regional Health Centre has been diagnosed with COVID-19, Manitoba officials say.

The staff member worked in the centre’s emergency department and medicine ward from March 19 to 23, said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.

It’s believed the worker got the virus through travel within Canada, Roussin said.

Public health officials are investigating the case, he said, including followup with all close staff and patient contacts. All known contacts are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Dates and times of possible exposure, all at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre emergency department, include:

  • March 19 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • March 20 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • March 21 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • March 22 from 11:45 p.m. to March 23 7:45 a.m.

Manitoba has seven new cases of COVID-19, Roussin said Tuesday, bringing the province’s total to 103.

Three of those people are currently in hospital, including two in intensive care, Roussin said.

Four people have recovered from COVID-19 in Manitoba. The total number of reported deaths in the province from the disease remains at one.


A Winnipeg emergency department nurse also has tested positive for COVID-19, the Manitoba Nurses Union said Tuesday. She is recovering in self-isolation at home, the union said.

The union believes the nurse contracted COVID-19 while working in the emergency department caring for patients sick with the virus. She hadn’t travelled internationally for several months.

When asked about that case and reports of another exposure at St. Boniface Hospital on Tuesday, Roussin would not confirm any specifics.

Call for more critical care nurses

Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer of Shared Health, said Tuesday the province needs critical care nurses to come forward to help the health-care system respond to the virus.

They’re calling on nurses and LPNs with previous experience in adult or pediatric critical care to pick up shifts.

The province also is continuing its call for donations of supplies to help fight the virus. The call includes requests for N95 respirators of various models and sizes, surgical masks, gloves, disposable gowns and disinfectants and cleaners.

Supplies must be in original packaging, clean and in usable condition. Expired supplies cannot be accepted, officials said.

On Tuesday morning, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced in-class teaching for kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Manitoba is suspended indefinitely for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grade 12 provincial exams also have been cancelled.

The announcement followed an expanded public health order made by the Manitoba government on Monday.

Non-essential services such as bars, hair salons and massage therapy offices will shut down and restaurants will be banned from serving in their premises starting Wednesday under an expanded public health order made by the Manitoba government on Monday.

Social distancing ‘not a short-term solution’

Social distancing measures are likely to be in place for “many, many weeks at this intensity,” Roussin said Tuesday.

“We do have to expect this is not a short-term solution,” he said.

Public health officials also ask people to stay within or close to their home communities.

That includes limiting travel — even within the province — to essential trips only. 

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