Coronavirus: 1 more case in Manitoba, active cases fall below 10

Small Manitoba cluster of COVID-19 linked to temporary foreign workers
Four of the nine active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba involve temporary foreign workers from a single workplace. However, health authorities say all the proper procedures were followed and there's no risk to the public.

The number of active cases in Manitoba has fallen below 10, although one new cases was announced Wednesday.

That brings the total in Manitoba to 298.

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Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said four cases of the province’s nine active cases are part of a cluster related to temporary foreign workers in the Southern Health region of the province.

Officials say 18 workers arrived in Manitoba and were staying in groups of six. In one group, four people tested positive for COVID-19, while the other two tested negative.

“The other [non-contact] temporary foreign workers there have all been tested and there are just three samples that are pending still,” Roussin said.

Roussin didn’t say what industry the workers were from, but said the risk to the public was minimal as the workers followed all the proper protocols, including self-isolating for 14 days.

The province’s six most recent COVID-19 cases have all been related to travel, but the chief provincial public health officer says we could see the mandatory 14-day self isolation rule change in the coming weeks, for travel to and from provinces that have caseloads similar to Manitoba’s.

“Those are the types of things we are looking at, whether we don’t need to have a blanket interprovincial requirement,” Roussin said. “We may look at certain jurisdictions that have favourable epidemiology, epidemiology that’s comparable to ours, that we may not require that 14-day self-isolation.”

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“That’s something we’re looking at now and probably in the upcoming weeks we’ll be able to consider that.”

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba remains at seven.

About an hour before the press conference, the province announced an ease of restrictions around hospital visits, starting Friday.

READ MORE: Two more coronavirus cases confirmed in Manitoba Tuesday

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

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.

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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.