WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials have announced there are three new cases of COVID-19 in the province. This brings the total in Manitoba to 253.

The announcement was made at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief medical health officer, said there are no new deaths related to the virus, keeping the total at five.

Seven people are currently in hospital, four of whom are in intensive care.

Roussin said 140 people have been listed as recovered while 108 are considered active cases.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 340 tests on Friday, bringing the total to 19,193 tests since early February.

Roussin is reminding people to continue to stay home as much as possible so the province can continue to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"This virus is still in Manitoba, it is still circulating. If we reverse our course now we're likely to see a climb in cases. So we must double our efforts at social distancing," said Roussin.


Roussin said earlier in April health officials started warning people about Easter and that it wasn't the time to gather with others to celebrate the holiday.

He said on Saturday a similar message is being put out to those who celebrate Ramadan.

Ramadan is set to begin on the evening of April 23 and it goes until the evening of May 23.

"I want to wish all Muslim Manitobans a happy Ramadan but remind everyone this year that celebrations will occur differently," he said. "Many in the Islamic community are already doing their part to reduce the risk, reduce the transmission of this virus in Manitobans. Prayers have been cancelled and several mosques have closed. These are difficult decisions, these are challenging times for all Manitobans, but for this immediate future we need to change the way we do things."


Roussin also reiterated that the province is expanding testing criteria for the virus.

Testing now includes all symptomatic workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services.

Testing is also being expanded for those who show symptoms and who live with health-care workers, first responders or workers in congregate settings such as a correctional facility, shelter, long-term care home or residential facility.