No new COVID-19 cases reported Monday as Manitoba starts Phase 2 reopening

Manitoba health officials 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 Monday.

Health officials in Manitoba said there were no new cases of novel coronavirus to report Monday.

Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said the province’s count of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases remains at 295.

At a press conference Monday Roussin gave more information on two cases reported late last week, which health officials have previously said were related to travel.

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Roussin now says both cases were truck drivers who had traveled into the United States.

He said both truck drivers had self-isolated quickly after noticing symptoms.

“These individuals took all the right action,” he said.

“They became symptomatic soon after returning, they were self-isolated, were tested and there is unlikely to be any significant contacts in the community.”

Roussin said a case reported over the weekend — which he now identifies as a temporary foreign worker — is also related to travel.

He said the worker self-isolated quickly and had “limited contacts” with the public.

That said, Dr. Roussin adds 18 people from the same workplace as the foreign worker are being monitored closely and will be tested soon, however none are showing symptoms.

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Across the country temporary foreign workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In southwestern Ontario, 85 migrant workers tested positive on Monday.

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In Kelowna, 63 migrant workers tested positive for COVID-19 after an outbreak at a garden nursery in April.

Numbers of cases have remained low in Manitoba over the past few weeks, and Roussin said the biggest risk for further outbreaks comes from the virus being imported in from other jurisdictions.

“The reason why we wanted to disclose it is for that reason; as we’re reopening in phase two we want people to be aware of where the risk is,” Dr. Roussin said.

“If it’s travel-related, if it’s controlled, it shouldn’t be a concern with the continuation of our reopening plans.”

It’s one of the reasons Manitoba has opened up testing for asymptomatic people — including truck drivers who leave the province — Roussin said.

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As of Monday morning he said there was no one hospitalized or in intensive care because of the virus.

Roussin said 278 Manitobans have recovered and there are 10 active cases. Seven people have died.

On Sunday 806 lab tests for COVID-19 were performed, said Roussin, bringing the total number of tests performed in Manitoba to 44,692.

Roussin’s press conference comes the day the government kicks off Manitoba’s second phase of reopening.

As of Monday, Manitobans will be allowed to visit dine-in restaurants, drink in bars and go bowling, as the province eases more restrictions that were put in place to help fight COVID-19.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba to begin Phase 2 of reopening on June 1'
Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba to begin Phase 2 of reopening on June 1

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

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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. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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

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