WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer says there are “early signs” of community transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Winnipeg.
Dr. Brent Roussin says health officials are now seeing transmission in the community that can’t be linked to travel or previously known cases.
“We knew to expect this. As more and more cases are introduced into a jurisdiction, community transmission is going to be inevitable,” Roussin said.
The government reported 24 new probable positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 127.
Four people remain in hospital, with three listed in intensive care. Four people have recovered from the virus, while there is still one reported death.
Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 1,130 tests Tuesday. As of April 1, a total of 10,044 tests have been performed.
The Manitoba Nurses Union said it is concerned nurses are not always getting proper protective equipment while dealing with patients, putting workers at risk.
Nurses have asked for the right to wear more-protective N95 respirator masks when dealing with patients who are being tested for COVID-19. Health officials have said surgical masks are all that is required.
New screening procedures in acute and long-term care facilities
Beginning today, staff arriving for the start of their shift in acute and long-term care facilities will have their temperature taken and be required to answer questions about any symptoms they have, their travel history and their exposure to positive COVID-19 cases. Staff who are required to come and go during the course of their shift may be re-screened upon re-entry into facilities and service areas.
Clarification for non-critical businesses
Dr. Roussin has clarified a public health order to ensure a better understanding for businesses classified as not providing critical services and how they are able to operate during the state of emergency.
All non-exempt businesses may:
• continue to operate where customers can order goods online or by telephone; however, customers cannot attend the businesses’ premises or property to order goods;
• continue to sell goods to customers where those goods can be picked up ‘curbside’ or delivered to customers; however, customers cannot pick up goods at businesses’ premises or on its property;
• allow staff to attend the businesses’ premises, without a limitation on the number of staff, as long as staff take measures to keep social distancing of one to two metres apart from each other; and
• accept delivery of goods and may allow services, such as construction, repairs, maintenance and cleaning to occur at their premises and on their property.
More details on the public health order can be found at engagemb.ca.
Watch Wednesday’s COVID-19 media briefing:
Further information on COVID-19 can be found at Manitoba.ca/covid19.