Walmart employee in Winnipeg tested positive for COVID-19: health officials
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials said a COVID-19 case announced on Monday was an employee who worked at a Winnipeg Walmart.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief provincial health officer, said the employee was working at the Southdale Walmart on Saturday, May 9 from 4 to 9 p.m.
He said the person had been working on the floor and it is unlikely there had been any contact with customers. Roussin said the person was tested on May 14, with the results coming in over the long weekend.
The case is being considered a community transmission at this time.
He said because there was no prolonged contact with customers, Roussin said the case is considered low-risk, but still encouraged anyone who is showing symptoms and had been in the area during the date and time to get tested.
"Low risk in that situation and the only concern is during that specific time," Roussin said. "We wanted people to be aware of that."
In an emailed statement, Walmart Canada confirmed the positive test and said it remains in contact with the employee.
“Everyone at Walmart wishes them a speedy recovery,” the statement reads, adding the employee last worked in the store on May 9.
The company added associates identified as being in “close prolonged contact” with the employee have been directed to self-isolate.
“We have regular enhanced cleaning in the store and other social distancing measures in place. We are in contact with local public health officials,” the statement reads.
Roussin said it is vital that Manitobans do not go out if they are feeling ill. He said both employees and employers should be screening people for symptoms.
"We can't have people showing up to work ill," he said. "That's the only way we are going to be successful moving forward."
NO NEW CASES OF VIRUS ANNOUNCED IN MANITOBA
No new cases of the virus were announced on Tuesday, leaving the total number of cases at 290.
There is currently one person in hospital and no people in the intensive care unit. There have been 257 people who have recovered from COVID-19 in Manitoba. There are currently 26 active cases.
There were 379 laboratory tests performed on Monday. The total number of tests completed at the Cadham Provincial Laboratory since early February is 35,578.
Testing has since been expanded in Manitoba to include any symptomatic person.
Manitobans who are symptomatic no longer require a referral from Health Links or a family physician to get tested. People who are symptomatic are encouraged to use the online COVID-19 screening tool to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested.
MANITOBA AHEAD OF SCHEDULE FOR LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS
With the number of active COVID-19 cases continuing to drop in Manitoba, Roussin said the province will very likely be ahead of schedule when it comes to loosening restrictions.
Roussin did not provide further details as to what restrictions could be lifted, but said it is likely some measures will be loosened before June 1. He said one of the measures officials are looking at is raising group gathering sizes, which are currently limited to 10 people or less.
Roussin said the province will provide more details later in the week about Phase Two of reopening Manitoba.