Province of Manitoba Media Bulletin
March 18, 2020
Public health officials advise the total number of lab-confirmed positive and presumptive positive cases in Manitoba remains at 15 at this time. Public health investigations are continuing on the seven additional positive cases identified yesterday. It appears that six of the seven cases are related to travel. Further information about travel is pending for the seventh case. More than 2,100 patients have been screened for COVID-19 at dedicated testing sites in Winnipeg, Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas in the past six days including about 430 yesterday. The province’s eighth dedicated testing site opened today at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, in the Nurses’ Residence Gym Hours at that location are daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional locations throughout the province will be announced in the days ahead. The public is reminded that these sites are not walk-in clinics. Manitobans are asked to call Health Links-Info Santé, who will be able to assess whether testing for COVID-19 is needed and can provide a referral. The Health Links-Info Santé number is 204-788-8200 and 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free). Twenty students from the University of Manitoba have been added to support occupational health services, which is tasked with screening and responding to inquiries from staff and physicians who have returned from travelling internationally in the last 14 days. All staff and physicians with international travel history are required to contact occupational health services (OHS) immediately upon return. Occupational health services staff are working within clinically determined and evidence-based guidelines to assess all returning staff. All facilities and departments have been directed to identify staff and physicians who are operationally required. Those individuals are then assessed by OHS for the type of work they do including consideration of their exposure to high-risk patients and the circumstances of their travel. Those operationally required staff and physicians who are cleared to return to work will have no or limited contact with patients, are required to wear personal protective equipment all times during their shift and must self-monitor for symptoms including monitoring their temperature twice per day. Public health is recommending that support services to seniors programs focused on providing congregate meals be suspended. At long-term care facilities and for assisted living, congregate meals follow public health recommendations on social distancing. Individuals who have returned from international travel in the past 14 days have been instructed to self-isolate or self-monitor. Those who are suffering from cold- or flu-like symptoms should not participate in congregate meal programs. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
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