A truck driver who travelled outside the province and a close household contact of that person are the two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Manitoba on Friday.
Both are in Winnipeg health region, provincial data shows.
Public health officials are still looking into both of those cases. Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin could not say whether there were possibly other people exposed.
The update brings the total number of cases in the province to 300, nine of which are active, health officials announced at a news conference.
There is still no one in hospital with the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
Seven people have died and 284 have recovered.
On Thursday, 671 COVID-19 tests were done, bringing the total number of completed in Manitoba to 47,372.
Manitoba started the second phase of its reopening plan on Monday, but that doesn’t mean it’s a return to normal, said Roussin.
“We’re certainly not done with this virus.”
Roussin said health officials want to keep public health restrictions in place for as little time as required, but encouraged people to stay home if they show any symptoms of the virus.
He also encouraged employers to examine their sick leave policies to make it easy for people to stay home from work if they start showing symptoms.
“The alternative is that they come to work when they should be self-isolating,” he said.
It’s a “good option,” though not mandated, to wear a face mask in places like transit buses where it can be difficult to practise physical distancing, Roussin said.
Some hospitals in Manitoba will loosen restrictions around allowing visitors starting today, said Manitoba Shared Health Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa.
Other facilities will loosen those restrictions starting Monday, so people should check in with the facilities they want to visit before they show up, she said. The relaxed restrictions do not yet apply to personal care homes in the province.
Siragusa said it’s important to strike a balance between taking preventative measures against the virus and allowing patients to connect with loved ones.
She said COVID-19 testing sites in Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and Winkler will be closed on Sundays starting this weekend because of low patient volumes. The testing site at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg will also be closed on Sundays.
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