WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) believes one of seven new COVID-19 cases announced by the province Tuesday is a nurse at a Winnipeg hospital emergency department.

The MNU believes the nurse contracted the virus by being exposed to a patient that had it.

“We do believe and she believes that the transmission likely occurred at work performing routine duties,” said Darlene Jackson, MNU president.

Jackson believes this shows health-care workers are at a higher risk than the general public to contract COVID-19.

“Because they are the ones out there on the front lines and when they see a patient or meet a patient or see a family member you never know who’s carrying the COVID virus,” she said.

Jackson noted that keeping a two-metre distance from someone is impossible for health-care workers who are doing direct patient care.

“That just underlines our statement that we need those workers to have adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment in place,” she said.

The MNU would like nurses to have access to an N95 mask if a nurse deems it’s needed.

Manitoba Public Health officials did not confirm that a Winnipeg ER nurse was among the patients who’ve been confirmed to have COVID-19.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, said that keeping health-care workers safe is one of the province’s top priorities.

“Unfortunately there is transmission that can happen in the healthcare settings and that’s why we have as many protocols as we can to protect our staff,” said Dr. Roussin.