14 new cases bringing the total to 35.
PLEASE STAY HOME.
IF YOU DON’T LIVE WITH THEM DON’T VISIT THEM!
Public health officials advise 14 additional probable cases of COVID-19 have been identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 35 at this time.
Case information includes:
• case 23 is a woman in her 30s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 24 is a girl under the age of 10 who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 25 is a woman in her 40s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 26 is a man in his 30s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 27 is a woman in her 60s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 28 is a woman in her 60s who lives in Winnipeg and receiving treatment in intensive care in hospital,
• case 29 is a man in his 40s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 30 is a woman in her 30s who lives in a community in the area of the Southern Health Santé Sud health region,
• case 31 is a woman in her 40s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 32 is a man in his 60s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 33 is a woman in her 60s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 34 is a woman in her 50s who lives in a community in the Southern Health Santé Sud health region,
• case 35 is a woman in her 20s who lives in Winnipeg, and
• case 36 is an individual who was tested in the Prairie Mountain Health region.
Public health investigations are underway to determine additional details and to confirm the possible exposure of these cases. Information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel is updated as information becomes available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/flights.html.
Public health officials advise that case numbers and the total number of cases are different because one case was retested and was found to be negative.
Also note that a probable case previously reported on March 23 of a man in his 50s who lives in Winnipeg with a history of travel should be referenced as case 21. In addition, a probable case previously reported on March 24 of a man in his 40s who lives in Winnipeg with a travel history under investigation should be referenced as case 22.
Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel. This includes international travel and travel within Canada. There should be no recreational, tourist or non-essential personal travel. In addition, public health officials recommended that effective March 23, anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.
This recommendation does not include:
• the commercial transportation of goods and services;
• workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
• health care workers who travel to work from outside the province;
• normal personal travel in border communities, including visits to a cottage.
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.
In recognition of the current challenges, the province will defer any increases to the Manitoba Pharmacare deductible that were scheduled to take effect April 1. The deductible will still come into effect on April 1, but will remain at 2019-20 levels throughout 2020-21 to assist Manitobans with supply limits imposed on pharmacies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manitobans are reminded that pharmacies have been asked to limit individuals to a 30-day supply of medication. All Canadian provinces have taken this step to prevent hoarding and ensure there is a consistent supply of medications.
A new community testing drive-thru site officially opened today in Winkler, at the Winkler Centennial Arena at 600 Park St. Hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are now 12 community testing sites including four drive-thru locations. The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.
For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
COVID-19 IN MANITOBA
Manitoba has implemented a number of changes to better protect the health of Manitobans. They include:
• declaring a state of emergency in Manitoba;
• issuing public health orders to:
limit public gathering to less than 50 people including places of worship, family event, wedding and funerals;
require retailers to ensure separation of two metres between patrons in their facility;
limit hospitality premises such as restaurants or theatres to 50 people or 50 per cent of capacity (whichever is less);
immediate closures of bingo and gaming centres, as well as wellness centres such as gyms and fitness centres; and
recommending cancellation of domestic or international travel.
• suspending services at licensed child-care centres effective at end-of-day March 20 to
• working to create dedicated child-care options for front-line and essential service staff;
• suspending classes in Manitoba kindergarten to Grade 12 schools effective March 23 to April 10;
• closing casinos;
• recommending the immediate suspension of visitors in long-term care facilities across Manitoba with exceptions for compassionate reasons;
• visitor access at all Manitoba hospitals has been suspended, with exceptions for compassionate reasons made on a case-by-case basis;
• for labour and delivery as well as pediatric patients, one visitor is allowed, with stringent screening in place;
• suspending elective (non-urgent) surgical procedures;
• postponing surgeries for patients who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and patients will be contacted directly if their surgery is affected;
• postponing non-essential and routine diagnostic testing including laboratory, imaging and non-invasive cardiac services;
• limiting prescription renewals to a 30-day supply;
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• consolidating two CancerCare Manitoba clinics into one location at Victoria General Hospital Cancer Clinic;
• suspending BreastCheck breast cancer screening services at CancerCare Manitoba for at least two weeks effective March 19;
• suspending adult day programs and similar programming located within long-term care or personal care facilities;
• suspending congregate meal services for Support Services to Seniors program;
• developing virtual visit and virtual care psychotherapy options to supplement traditional models of care including video-conferencing options;
• suspending day programs through Community Living disABILITY Services for adults with intellectual disabilities, with exceptions for exceptional cases;
• asking Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) clients to contact staff through the call centre whenever possible to follow public health recommendations on public distancing;
• cancelling all planned interpreter-led events and closing interpretive centres until further notice in Manitoba parks;
• developing a new self-assessment tool, which is now online to help Manitobans determine whether they need to call Health Links–Info Santé to get a referral for testing or to self-isolate;
• implementing community screening locations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba where people can be screened and tested for COVID-19 after a referral from Health Links–Info Santé; and
• providing advice on social distancing measures for Manitobans.
Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel (domestic or international). In addition, public health officials are recommending all travellers should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after returning to Manitoba from international or other locations in Canada. Exceptions to this include:
• the commercial transportation of goods and services,
• workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
• health-care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
• normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.
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Health officials are reminding physicians, health-care providers and support staff returning from domestic or international travel that they MUST self-identify to their organization/site’s occupational health services.
The online screening tool is now available in an interactive voice response (IVR) format. It is not a replacement for Health Links–Info Santé. It is specifically for Manitobans who prefer to complete the screening tool by phone rather than online.
The tool asks callers standard screening questions for COVID-19. If needed, it directs those who may require a conversation with a health-care professional to Health Links–Info Santé. People who want to self-screen can call (toll-free) 1-877-308-9038.
Community screening sites have opened across the province. These locations are not walk-in clinics. Patients must receive a referral prior to arriving at these sites. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, all Manitobans have a role to play in slowing its spread and minimizing its impact on the health-care system and in communities. Social distancing strategies for all Manitobans include:
• cancelling or postponing any large-scale events with more than 50 attendees;
• minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between other individuals in public;
• avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes;
• disinfecting frequently used surfaces;
• following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus; and
• avoiding travel, crowded places and events, especially if you are at higher risk.
People are encouraged to take common prevention measures including regular handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. Make sure to dry hands thoroughly. Alternatively, people can use an alcohol-based hand cleanser if their hands are not visibly dirty.
People should also cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into their sleeve. Being prepared also means seeking official sources of information to ensure the most up-to-date and accurate information is being used.
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Employers should review their business continuity plans and take steps to ensure employees can stay home when ill, without facing barriers such as the requirement for sick notes, and work from home if possible. Employers should also discontinue non-essential, work-related travel outside of Manitoba and encourage virtual meetings to reduce prolonged, close contact between individuals.
There have been reports of multiple phishing scams related to COVID-19. Many are asking people for credit card information to provide medication following positive test results. This is not a call that Manitobans would receive from public health officials. Manitobans are advised not to provide any financial data, hang up on the caller and to report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501.
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living is also urging media to exercise caution in reporting information related to the evolving COVID-19 situation and to avoid hearsay or speculation, as this can spread misinformati