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Coronavirus case confirmed at Maple Leaf plant in Brandon, 2 new cases reported Wednesday

A Maple Leaf Foods employee walks past a Maple Leaf sign at the company's meat facility in Toronto. The company confirmed Wednesday an employee at its Brandon plant has tested positive for COVID-19.
A Maple Leaf Foods employee walks past a Maple Leaf sign at the company's meat facility in Toronto. The company confirmed Wednesday an employee at its Brandon plant has tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Two new cases of novel coronavirus were reported in Manitoba Wednesday, as Maple Leaf confirmed an employee at its meat processing plant in Brandon tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

In a statement to Global News, Maple Leaf said the employee had not been to work since passing a daily, mandatory health screen on July 28. The company said the employee wasn’t exhibiting symptoms that day.

Read more: 7 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba Monday

The company said after a review and consultation with public health authorities, it’s determined the employee likely contacted COVID-19 from the community, and said the employee was wearing a face mask and personal protective equipment the last time the employee was at work.

Coronavirus: After long-weekend spike, Manitoba announces 2 additional COVID-19 cases
Coronavirus: After long-weekend spike, Manitoba announces 2 additional COVID-19 cases

The union representing Maple Leaf employees said other workers who had been in contact with the employee have been sent home to self-isolate for 14 days, and two separate deep cleans have taken place where the employee was working.

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“We hope for a speedy recovery for the Maple Leaf member,” said UFCW Local 832 president, Jeff Traeger.

Read more: Manitoba records 18 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

“This appears to be a contained event, but we will be watching this very closely.”

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Maple Leaf said it remains in close contact with the employee, who is recovering at home.

New cases reported Wednesday

The two new cases reported Wednesday are a man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s, both from Winnipeg. They bring the province’s total of known lab-confirmed and probable cases reported to 444.

Health officials say nine people are in hospital with COVID-19, including five who are in intensive care.

Read more: After long-weekend spike, Manitoba announces 2 additional COVID-19 cases

They say there are 94 known active cases of COVID-19. Since March 342 are reported to have recovered from the virus, and eight Manitobans have died.

Health officials are also warning of potential exposure to the virus on a pair of recent flights that ultimately arrived in Winnipeg late last month.

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The flights include Air Canada flight AC 873 from Frankfurt, Germany, to Toronto (rows unknown) on July 26, and Air Canada flight AC 265 from Toronto to Winnipeg on July 26 (rows 22 to 28).

Anyone who was on the flights is advised to self-isolate for 14 days following the flight and monitor for symptoms. Passengers on these flights, but not in the affected seats, should self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate if they develop.

Read more: City of Winnipeg reopens recreation facilities, pools amid coronavirus

Updated information about flights and affected rows is available on the province’s website.

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The province says 990 tests for COVID-19 were completed Tuesday, bringing the total number of tests completed in Manitoba since early February to 94,984. Health officials say Manitoba’s current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 0.44 per cent.

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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. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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