• Myrna Driedger


Province of Manitoba Media Bulletin

March 5, 2020

Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) and public health officials are reminding Manitobans the risk of acquiring the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) in Manitoba remains low.   While China remains the epicenter of the outbreak, more countries continue to report COVID-19 cases with local transmissions.  Manitoba officials continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor the situation as it evolves. Travellers returning from Iran and the province of Hubei, contacts of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 or laboratory workers exposed during work are advised to self-isolate for 14 days after departing from Hubei or Iran, or since their last known contact/exposure.  For information on self-isolation visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/factsheets/coronavirus_selfisolation.pdf. All returning international travellers should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning to Canada.  As the situation continues to evolve, MHSAL encourages Manitobans to review the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 related travel advisories as they consider their travel plans, which can be found at www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html. Travellers who develop cold or flu-like symptoms within 14 days of returning to Canada should contact Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) to determine if testing for COVID-19 should be considered.  In cases where testing is not recommended, they should self-isolate until they are well. As of March 5, 97 tests have been completed for COVID-19 in Manitoba.  At this time, there are no laboratory-confirmed cases here. Suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 are required to be reported to Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.  Confirmed Canadian cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Common personal prevention and preparedness measures for viruses such as COVID-19 and influenza include regular hand washing with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser.  Additional precautions include covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and staying home when you are sick, regardless of recent travel.  Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing.  For additional preparedness details visit www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html. Being prepared also means seeking official sources of information to ensure the most up-to-date and accurate information is being used.  MHSAL 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 misinformation. Information on areas with community transmission, as well as links to information on all countries reporting COVID-19 cases, will be updated regularly.  For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit Manitoba Public Health at www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/coronavirus.html.   PHAC has issued travel health notices about COVID-19.  For more information, visit: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html.

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