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Manitoba Reports First COVID-19 Death; Gatherings to Be Limited to 10

March 27, 2020 1:51 PM | News

WINNIPEG — Manitoba has reported its first death related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, made the announcement Friday morning, saying the death was a Winnipeg woman in her 60s who was previously admitted to hospital in intensive care earlier this week.

“It’s a tragic loss. It’s a Manitoban that we lost and our hearts go out to their friends and family,” Roussin said. “But this is our time to act now.

“To stay home if you can, practice good social distancing, wash your hands … all Manitobans have a role to limit days like this.”

Roussin also revealed three new probable cases of the virus, bringing the total to 39 in the province.

“Today, we are grieving the first local loss of life related to COVID-19. We’re in this together and we are grieving together. Our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the deceased,” Mayor Brian Bowman said in a statement.

“The tragic news of this loss of life is a stark reminder of the gravity of the global pandemic we are facing together. It reinforces how essential it is for all of us, as Winnipeggers, to diligently follow the direction of our health care and emergency professionals.”

Tighter restrictions on public gatherings

Health officials will soon limit public gatherings from 50 to 10 or fewer in any indoor or outdoor setting, effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 30.

“This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters. Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business,” the province said in a release.

Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres.

New testing sites open

Additional drive-thru community testing sites opened today in Eriksdale at the Eriksdale Wellness Centre, 35 Railway Avenue, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday and in Portage la Prairie at the Stride Centre, 245 Royal Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

A community testing site will open Monday, March 30 in Pine Falls at École Powerview School, 33 Vincent Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The community testing site in The Pas has relocated to the Royal Canadian Legion at 4 Veterans Way and will continue to be open Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will brings the total to 15 community testing sites including six drive-thru locations.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links — Info Santé at (204) 788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

Watch Friday’s COVID-19 media briefing:

YouTube video

Further information on COVID-19 can be found at Manitoba.ca/covid19.