For the ninth-straight day, no new COVID-19 cases were reported in Manitoba Thursday.
That means the total number of lab-confirmed and probable cases reported in Manitoba since March remains 325.
At Thursday’s media briefing Manitoba’s chief medical health officer said while Manitobans aren’t being required to wear masks in public right now, the rules may change when the traditional flu season starts.
“We have such low transmission of the virus right now, so certainly it’s not fitting to implement any further restrictions on Manitobans at this point,” Dr. Brent Roussin said.
“But as we see more and more circulation of, say, this virus, and no doubt we’ll be in respiratory virus season, so we’ll see definitely see circulation of many respiratory viruses — that’s a given.
“When we start seeing that, then our messaging might be stronger on mask use at that time.”
The debate over whether or not mask use should be mandatory has been ongoing in jurisdictions across the country, and this week Toronto passed a bylaw requiring residents to wear face masks or coverings while in indoor public settings.
Those convicted of violating the bylaw in Toronto face a fine of $1,000 per offence.
Here in Manitoba Roussin has previously said he encourages people to wear masks while in public, but the practice still remains a personal choice.
As of Thursday Manitoba had four active cases, with no one hospitalized or in intensive care as a result of the virus, health officials said.
According to provincial numbers 314 people have recovered from COVID-19 since March and seven Manitobans have died.
Since early February 68,015 tests for COVID-19 have been performed, with 379 done Wednesday.
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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