No new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba for sixth consecutive day
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 there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba for a sixth consecutive day.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer, made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
Manitoba has had 325 lab-confirmed and probable positive cases since early March.
There are currently 14 active cases and 304 people have recovered from the virus.
The death toll remains at seven.
On Friday, 287 tests were performed, 678 tests were done on Saturday and 784 tests were done on Sunday. This brings the total number of tests to 66,717 since early February.
Roussin continued his comments that Manitobans need to stay vigilant and practice health guidelines such as social distancing and avoid large gatherings. He was asked whether he thinks his message is now starting to fall on deaf ears.
"I think it is certainly a risk when we have messaging that has been out for so long that Manitobans have really stepped and had to sacrifice a lot to follow a lot of our messaging and then combine that with relatively low numbers over the last number of weeks," said Roussin. "We have to ensure where we do continue to message we can point to other jurisdictions that aren't seeing the favourable numbers as us, as a risk that could still be out there for us out there if we don't remain vigilant."
Roussin also touched on the extreme heat most of the province has been dealing with over the past couple of weeks. He said the heat can make things difficult, but if people go out, they should plan ahead and continue to practice physical distancing.
"I think it's been a tough time, and then we finally get a great summer, so people want to get out and enjoy it and I think they should," he said. "I think people should get out and use appropriate precautions, stay hydrated, sunscreen, all the usual advice. But we are not done with the virus, so even though outdoor situations are much less risky than crowded indoor, when we are outdoors, we should still try to maintain that physical distancing whenever possible."
Roussin says the messaging on wearing a mask has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and that people should wear them if they can't maintain proper physical distancing. He added that people must wear masks properly though for the masks to be effective.
"We all see the people wearing the masks, not covering the nose or the mask under the chin and that carries risks of its own. If we are touching our face more often when we choose to wear masks, that's setting us up for exposure as well," he said.
Roussin said there is no plan to mandate wearing a mask in public and he also doesn't want a mask to take away from other health guidelines like washing your hands and staying home when you are sick.
He also mentioned that he himself does not wear a mask when out in public, saying he doesn't find himself in situations where he can't maintain physical distancing.