COVID-19 BULLETIN #68

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Public health officials advise four new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 279.

The data also shows:
•    five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in intensive care;
•    38 active cases and 235 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

As of yesterday, an additional 689 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 25,402.

Public health orders restricting staff from working in more than one licensed personal care home (PCH) have been signed and will take effect today. The single-site restriction is intended to provide additional protection against the introduction and/or spread of the COVID-19 virus within PCHs.

In recognition of the vulnerability of the PCH population to severe illness and/or death related to the virus, provincial planning has been underway to ensure the change is able to be implemented quickly while ensuring stable staffing and service continuity. As of today, all of Manitoba’s 127 licensed PCHs have confirmed readiness, with staff in place.

It is important to note that while some gradual lifting of restrictions has begun, significant work to limit the spread of COVID-19 must continue. Public health officials are also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities. The request to stay home as much as possible is still in place at this time. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba and neighbouring jurisdictions, to essential trips only.

The province is also launching an education campaign on being ‘COVID careful’ in cottage country to remind all campers and cottagers that COVID-19 guidelines must be followed. The goal is to raise awareness and encourage Manitobans to do the same within their social networks by posting supportive educational messages.

The campaign will include portable signs and education stops on key highway routes, new materials that can be displayed in car and cottage windows, as well as a social media campaign, all designed to show that cottagers in provincial parks and across the province are aware of their responsibilities and are encouraging others to stay mindful.

A secure online portal is being established to allow Manitobans who have been tested for COVID-19 to more quickly access their negative test results. Starting next week, when people are tested they will receive information about how to register and access these results. Users will need a Manitoba health registration card in order to access their results online.

A toll-free number will be available early next week to provide results to those without a Manitoba health card or those without internet access. As always, public health officials will directly notify Manitobans who have tested positive for COVID-19.

A new drive-thru community testing site opened today in Swan River, at the Manitoba Public Insurance facility, 125 Fourth Ave. North. Hours of operation are daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is Manitoba’s 16th community testing site and ninth drive-thru location.

Additionally, work is underway to get a new testing site established at Thunderbird House to support access to testing for Winnipeg’s homeless and shelter populations, as well as a new mobile service available in the next two weeks to serve clients with limited mobility.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Restoring Safe Services:  Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for recovery is available at www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices. Updates have been made to this document to clarify inconsistencies between the plan and the recent public health orders. Businesses with questions about how the new orders apply to them should visit https://engagemb.ca/.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

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