WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials announced on Thursday during a news conference that there are three new cases of COVID-19 in the province. This now brings the total to 224 cases.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province chief medical health officer, said 11 people are in hospital, five of which are in intensive care. He also said 76 people have recovered and there are no new deaths to report.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 551 test on Wednesday. It has performed 15,259 tests since early February.

Roussin said even though the numbers are low right now Manitobans still need to stick with social distancing measures that are in place.

"These last few days have seen relatively low new cases being reported. I do not want Manitobans to interpret this that our risk is now lowered," he said. "This is too early to make these determinations and we need to keep our guards up."

Roussin reiterated that even though the Easter long weekend is coming up, people should not attend gatherings, whether they are family gatherings or faith based gatherings, and that people should just stay home.

The province announced it is closing all public facilities in provincial parks starting immediately. The parks will remain open, but all facilities including washroom, playgrounds, picnic areas and group shelters will be closed to make sure people are practicing social distancing.


Roussin announced that public health inspectors in Brandon issued an emergency health hazard order to a tattoo parlor in the city.

He said the business was continuing to operate despite public health orders saying all non-essential businesses should be closed.

Roussin added no fines were issued and this is the first emergency health hazard order.


Lanette Siragusa, Manitoba's chief nursing officer said some testing sites in the province will be operating with reduced hours during the long weekend.

Testing sites in Brandon, Dauphin, Pine Falls and Eriksdale will all be closed on Good Friday.

Testing facilities in Thompson, Flin Flon, and The Pas will open throughout the weekend but only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The testing site at the Mount Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The other three sites in Winnipeg will continue to work on regular hours throughout the weekend.

Health officials are also expanding testing criteria. First responders with respiratory symptoms will now be tested, this includes paramedics, police and firefighters.