WINNIPEG -- In the last seven days, 27 health-care workers in Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19.

Lannette Siragusa, Shared Health’s chief nursing officer, gave an update on health-care workers during a provincial news conference Monday afternoon.

“Many are putting aside their own fears to work long hours in a stressful environment providing care and increasingly consoling families who have lost a loved one,” she said.

Siragusa said 1,647 health-care workers were tested for COVID-19 last week, with 27 testing positive. Thirteen of them are from Winnipeg, nine are from the Prairie Mountain Health Region, five are from the Southern Health–Santé Sud Health Region and one is from the Interlake-Eastern Health Region.

According to Siragusa, six are nurses, 15 are Allied Health or support workers and six are yet to be identified.

She also announced the province has found 164 more health-care workers have tested positive since the start of the pandemic.

“Work is also underway to address a backlog, and they have uncovered an additional 164 positive cases in health-care workers since the start of the pandemic,” Siragusa said.

Since early March, 743 health-care workers have contracted COVID-19. Siragusa noted that the number includes workers who got the virus from travel, close contacts, community transmission, as well as at work.

So far, 32,079 tests have been administered to health-care workers and paramedics.

Siragusa said the need to test health-care workers is essential.

She said testing is increasing, with rapid tests being implemented for health-care workers, especially at Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospital.

A dedicated testing site for first responders and health-care workers at the WFPS Training Academy tested 158 people in the first five days of opening, said Siragusa.

Siragusa also provided an update on the number of paramedics who have had COVID-19. While none have tested positive this week, 19 paramedics have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.