COVID-19 BULLETIN #61
Province of Manitoba media bulletin
April 24, 2020
Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 was identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 263. The data also shows: • seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes three individuals in intensive care; • 61 active cases and 196 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and • the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six. As of yesterday, an additional 786 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 22,172. Over the past four weeks, a number of non-urgent surgical and diagnostic procedures have been postponed for patients identified as being clinically able to wait without risk of negative outcomes. Postponements are part of the provincial effort to ensure flexibility and availability in the allocation of staff, beds, equipment and supplies required to respond to COVID-19. Case-by-case clinical assessment has ensured urgent and emergent procedures, as well as those patients who may become urgent or emergent during the postponement timeframe, are completed. Patient safety and avoiding negative outcomes remain the priority. Over the next week, a number of facilities across the province will begin to increase their surgical activity. This includes increased surgical activity at Health Sciences Centre, the Pan Am Clinic, Concordia Hospital, Misericordia Health Centre, Grace Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Boundary Trails Health Centre, Selkirk Regional Health Centre and Brandon General Hospital. Surgeries will be scheduled for the most urgent cases first and all necessary precautions, including point of care testing, appropriate PPE and limiting the number of staff in the room to those who are essential for patient care, will be taken to protect staff and patients from the risk of COVID-19. Patients will be contacted directly about scheduling their surgery. Manitoba is part of a national effort to share important medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) and has agreed to divert 100 vital sign monitors to Quebec and Ontario – two of the hardest-hit provinces in the fight against COVID-19. The equipment was to arrive in Manitoba next week but will now be diverted to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. Manitoba is early in the response to COVID-19 and clinical leaders are confident the province is able to provide this assistance without risk to Manitobans. Another shipment of equipment is expected to arrive in Manitoba in about a month. Public health officials have expanded testing criteria. It is important for people who meet the criteria and are showing even mild symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough, a runny nose, a sore throat and a fever, to be tested to better determine the spread of the virus in Manitoba. Manitobans are reminded that if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and meet testing criteria, they can call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 for more information. 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. Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only. Visits to cottages are not recommended at this time. Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill. Manitobans needing assistance to cope with the stress and anxiety created by COVID-19 are encouraged to access the online virtual therapy program. The program is a free and confidential behavioural-therapy service for all Manitobans 16 years old and over. Services are available in English and French and can be accessed at www.manitoba.ca/covid19. Crisis mental-health services continue to be available through partner organizations in Manitoba at www.gov.mb.ca/health/mh/crisis.html. 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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