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Two new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba; health officials warn of possible exposure at Winnipeg Home Depot and Walmart
WINNIPEG -- Health officials announced that there are two new cases of COVID-19, and both are tied to travel outside of the country.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon.
Roussin said the cases are household contacts that are related to travel outside of the country. He said one of the cases recently came back from Europe.
He said that one of the cases had been to a few places in Winnipeg before showing symptoms.
The person went to the Home Depot on Bishop Grandin Boulevard on June 12 between 8 a.m and 9 a.m. The person also went to the Kenaston Boulevard Walmart on June 13 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
He clarified that the person who had travelled from Europe was self-isolating when they returned home.
Roussin said the public health risks remain very low but is sharing the information so people can get tested if symptoms do develop.
The two cases bring the province's total to 308 since March.
There are currently eight active cases and 293 people have recovered. The death toll in Manitoba remains at seven.
There were 828 tests performed on Thursday bringing the total to 55,743 since early February.
Roussin also provided more information regarding two cases announced on Wednesday. He said they were household contacts as well.
"One of them was asymptomatic. The other case we were unable to definitively link to travel or to a known case. But there was no community exposure that we could find," said Roussin, who added the second case would meet the definition of community transmission.
Roussin also touched on the recent peaceful protests in Manitoba, and said no cases have been connected to those events.
Some changes will be coming to the province on June 21 as Phase Three of reopening will come into effect.
One of the locations that will stay closed will be movie theatres. Roussin said it is because there is prolonged contact in those areas.
"The nature of the contact there, when we are talking about theatres and such. So we have close, prolonged, enclosed contact. So the three factors that this virus spreads in easily," said Roussin.
He added that other places like malls and stores may have more people, but the contact is brief and limited.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an app for contact tracing Thursday morning, and Roussin said he isn't sure when Manitoba will be part of that app.
He said health officials already do contact tracing for other viruses and added that this app can help with tracing, but they won't replace contact tracing that is done by health officials.