Health officials warn of possible coronavirus exposure at Kenora Walmart, No Frills

Health officials are warning about possible exposure to COVID-19 at two local retailers June 4. Janet Cretton/submitted

Health officials in Kenora, Ont., are warning about possible COVID-19 exposures at two local retailers in the popular destination for Manitoba cottagers.

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) said Thursday there’s a “very remote” risk people who shopped at Walmart and the No Frills grocery store between 2 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, may have been exposed to the virus.

The health authority is recommending anyone who was working or shopping at either store during those hours that day to self-monitor until June 18, and to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 if any symptoms develop.

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“From the information gathered from cases the risk is assessed as very remote, but we are advising people who were in these stores during these periods so that they can monitor symptoms and decide whether they want to be tested,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting medical officer of health at NWHU, in a release.

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The NWHU stressed it does not believe there is a significant risk to shoppers at the stores.

“The physical distancing and infection control practices in both stores mean that any risk of transmission [was] minimal,” reads the NWHU release.

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The health authority says it’s working to support each store as needed.

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The NWHU says testing for COVID-19 is available for anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed. Information about testing sites in the region is available at the NWHU website.

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A list of testing sites in Manitoba can be found here.

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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.

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.

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