By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Manitoba Opposition leader Wab Kinew said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be taking part virtually in legislature proceedings.
Kinew said he is double-vaccinated and went for testing after experiencing mild symptoms.
“Even though I had been double-vaccinated and that kind of led me to think this is probably not COVID, I did note a bit of a cough and sore throat and some congestion,” the NDP leader said.
“And so I figured, well, as much as I don’t think that this is COVID, these are the symptoms so let me go and get tested.”
Kinew posted on social media that his symptoms continue to be mild, his wife and children are doing well and he is self-isolating.
That means he will take part via videoconference when the Progressive Conservative government reveals its agenda in a throne speech Tuesday — the start of a brief fall legislature sitting.
“I don’t know where I got it, but luckily I did start to self-isolate as soon as I felt the symptoms. And so it doesn’t appear as though there are very many close contacts.”
Kinew held a press conference last Wednesday to call for a public inquiry into the province’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manitoba has registered the second-highest per capita death rate among the provinces, behind Quebec. Dozens of patients had to be flown to other provinces to free up intensive care beds last spring.
Kinew was first elected to the legislature in 2016 and became leader of the NDP the following year.
He urged people Monday night to follow public health orders and get vaccinated.
Well wishes came from people of all political stripes.
“Wishing you a quick recovery and the very best to you and your family at this time @Wabkinew. Get well soon,” read a message on Premier Heather Stefanson’s Twitter account.
“Wishing @Wabkinew & his family all the very best. Appreciate the message about our community remaining vigilant in our collective battle against #COVID, including the importance of getting vaccinated,” tweeted Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.