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No new cases of coronavirus in Manitoba, one probable case now negative

Manitoba health officials hold a press conference to give an update on the latest coronavirus measures in the province.

Manitoba has recorded no new cases of coronavirus, the province’s top doc says, and a probable case has turned up negative.

On Thursday, the number of Manitoba COVID-19 cases dropped by one to 283 cases. Five people were in hospital, and none were in ICU. There have been 242 recoveries and there are still 33 active cases.

The death toll remains at seven.

As of Wednesday, 527 more laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 28,810.

“There’s been some questions about previous cases of pneumonia,” and other severe respiratory diseases, said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

Eighteen of those previous cases, dating back to December, still had viable samples and were tested, he said.

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None of the cases were the result of COVID-19, said Roussin.

READ MORE: Lots to consider before reopening Manitoba schools amid coronavirus pandemic: epidemiologist

Lanette Siragusa of Shared Health said that limited surgeries and diagnostics are now happening, and between March 23 through April, about 3,000 surgeries were done, about one-third of normal levels.

Things are slowly being ramped up now, she said.

“Surgery beds will once again be utilized for their intended usages,” she added. “Medicine beds will similarly not be held open in case of a surge.”

The number of calls to Health Links has increased by about 4 per cent, said Siragusa, up to 8,475 last week. The wait time is about 2-6 minutes.

READ MORE: Two new cases of coronavirus related to cluster of cases in western Manitoba

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.

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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.