Coronavirus: 2 more cases brings Manitoba’s total to 257; all symptomatic essential workers can be tested

Manitoba’s chief provincial health officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Lanette Siragusa, spokesperson for Shared Health,are expected to provide an update on the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province and the government's ongoing response to the pandemic on Wednesday.

This story will be updated as the press conference goes on.

Manitoba Health officials say two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the province as of Wednesday.

The number of cases in Manitoba now stands at 257. Six people have died. Seven people are in hospital, with three in ICU, 154 people are recovered and there are 97 active cases.

There were 440 laboratory tests performed on Tuesday. A total of 21,601 tests have been performed since early February.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, says testing capacity is expanding and all symptomatic people who work in essential industries can now be tested.

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“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,” said the province in a press release.

Roussin said restrictions will likely be loosened in the coming weeks, but he said it won’t be right away.

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Low case numbers for at least three weeks and the ability of the health care system to cope will be part of the factors in loosening restrictions, he added.

Asked by 680 CJOB about projections that have yet to be released, Roussin said they’re coming.

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Hundreds of health care staff have been tested, said Lanette Siragusa of Shared Health.

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READ MORE: Manitoba’s novel coronavirus cases rise by 1; new guidelines for PPE

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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