No new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba as province prepares for second phase of reopening
Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company’s lab, in Surrey, B.C., March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WINNIPEG -- Provincial health officials announced that, for a fifth straight day, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, noting the total number of cases remains at 292.
There are 14 active cases and 271 people are considered recovered.
On Tuesday, 1,145 tests were performed, bringing the total to 40,466 since early February.
Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer with Shared Health, provided an update on healthcare workers who have tested positive for the virus.
She said that there are still 26 people who tested positive for COVID-19, but now all of those 26 people have recovered and are back at work.
As the province announced that Phase Two of reopening will come into effect on June 1, Roussin reminded people that this is a new normal and that they still must take precautions.
"We need to be aware of this virus, we are going to need to learn to live with this virus, and staying safe includes, physical distancing. Keeping two metres from others when at all possible," said Roussin, who added handwashing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces is also essential.
He added the most vital part of staying safe will be staying home when you are sick.
"We can no longer fight through a cold at work, or be out in public with a cold."
WORKING FROM HOME
When asked if businesses should continue having employees working from home, Roussin said if it has been working, they shouldn't change it.
"There's no real reason to go back if they have been working well. As a business, they are going to have to evaluate these types of things individually," he said. "We are in a new normal, we are not returning to normal. We are finding ways to live and to reopen with this virus, so any steps that can still prevent people from being crowded in places unnecessarily are going to be beneficial."
TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF MANITOBA
Roussin said based on the province's current numbers, the biggest risk to Manitobans is the importation of the virus.
He said that travel outside of the province is still not recommended.
"We probably won't be in a place where we restrict travel, but what we do is, anyone returning from outside Manitoba, with a few exceptions, is required to self-isolate for 14 days, so should they develop COVID-19 from their exposure outside Manitoba, they're going to a have a very limited number of contacts," Roussin said.
Roussin added the 14-day isolation could be changed if numbers in other provinces drop dramatically, and if health officials feel it would be safe to travel again.