WINNIPEG -- As Manitoba prepares for the second phase of reopening, health officials say it's important that Manitobans continue to take precautions against COVID-19.

On Thursday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, announced no new cases of the virus, leaving the total number of cases at 290. One person is in hospital, and there are no people in intensive care.

This comes after Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister released the draft plan for the second phase of reopening the province on Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Manitoba releases draft plan for Phase Two of reopening

'We continue to remind Manitobans that as we make these recommendations and these loosening of restrictions, it's not a return to normal," Roussin said. "We are still dealing with this virus. This virus is still in Manitoba.

"If we don't take precautions that we've already been taking, we could see increasing numbers going forward."

There are currently 18 active cases as of Thursday and 265 recoveries.

There were 582 tests completed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of tests performed since early February to 36,402.

Roussin said Manitobans need to continue to wash their hands frequently, disinfect frequently used surfaces, and maintain physical distancing whenever possible.

"Most important of all is to stay home when you are ill," he said. "We can't have, in this context, people going to work battling through a cold out in public with cold symptoms."

Roussin said anyone showing symptoms, including a sore throat, fever, cough or a runny nose, is encouraged to get tested. He said it is important to find cases of the virus early.

Roussin said as the province prepares to move forward with the second phase of reopening, health officials will be watching for certain trends.

He said they are watching the per cent of positive tests, which for the last five days have been nearly zero. The province is also watching for the number of community transmission cases, which Roussin said has been at zero for the past week as well.

Roussin said they're also watching hospital bed utilization.