COVID update: Staff, public cleared in infection scare at Selkirk RHC

Three new COVID-19 cases in Interlake-Eastern Region

By Don Norman

Last week we reported that Public health officials confirmed a staff member at Selkirk Regional Health Centre tested positive for COVID-19 after having returned from travel to another province. The individual worked in the health centre’s emergency department and medicine ward from March 19 to 23. 

This triggered a public health contact-tracing investigation to identify healthcare workers and patients who had close contact wtih the COVID-19 positive individual. Those identified were required to self-isolate for 14 days from the last day of contact wtih the individual and to self monitor for symptoms.

That period has now passed and the province has now confirmed that staff members who were on self isolation have now been cleared to return to work. All additional tests for COVID-19 that were completed as part of this investigation have come back negative. The case is now officially closed.

Public health officials advise six additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. on Friday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 230.  In addition, a fourth death has been reported, a man in his 70s who lived in Winnipeg.

Three new cases have been identified in the Interlake-Eastern region, bringing the total to 17 in the area. The first case in the region was identified on March 16. The cases rose slowly for the first two weeks, but began accelerating around the beginning of April.

The data also shows:
•    10 individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes five individuals in intensive care;
•    92 individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is four.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 962 tests Thursday.  A total of 16,220 tests have been performed since early February.

Friday’s data continues to show a downward trend in “active cases”. The March 10 release indicated that there have been 230 cases of COVID-19 reported against 92 recoveries (138 active cases). A week ago, the province’s April 3 release noted 182 cases against just 11 recoveries (171 active cases). So while the total cases has risen by 48 cases, because of recent recoveries, there are now 33 less active cases of COVID-19 than there was a week ago. The trend began on April 8 when a block of new recoveries reported and for the first time, active cases began to decrease.

However, provincial officials warned residents against letting their guard down in light of the latest data. “Manitobans should not interpret current case numbers to mean the risk of COVID-19 is reduced.  The current statistics may be a reflection of the effect strict social distancing measures have had and reaffirms that these measures must be continued, they warned in their daily press release. “Actions taken today will affect case numbers in the weeks ahead.”  Because of the Easter weekend, the release also reminded families that gatherings with anyone from outside your household are strongly discouraged.

For up-to-date information on community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

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