By Don Norman
In today’s provincial COVID-19 release, a new active case was identified in the Lac du Bonnet/Pinawa region. This case comes the day after a third case was identified in the Powerview-Pine Falls region, leaving the local total of COVID-19 cases at four. There were seven other cases identified in the entrie Interlake-Eastern Health region.
It’s important to note that, in terms of Manitoba Health releases, that the Pinawa/Lac du Bonnet Region, also includes the entire RM of Alexander as well as the RM and town of Lac du Bonnet and the LGD of Pinawa. “Powerview-Pine Falls” includes the actual municipality, but also Sagkeeng, Manigotagan, Bissett, Hollow Water and Black River. It does not include the East Beaches or St. Georges.
Provincially, the current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.2 per cent and 51 new cases of the virus have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the number of cases in Manitoba to 1,880.
The data shows:
• one case in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
• eight cases in the Interlake–Eastern health region;
• two cases in the Northern health region;
• four cases in Southern Health–Santé Sud; and
• 36 cases in the Winnipeg health region.
The data also shows:
• 589 active cases and 1,272 individuals have recovered from COVID-19;
• there are 13 people in hospital and six people in intensive care; and
• the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 19.
Preliminary laboratory testing numbers show 2,200 tests were completed on Saturday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 178,067. Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified.
Manitoba’s public health officials will be elevating the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to Restricted (orange) effective Sept. 28, with new measures being put in place help slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes the City of Winnipeg and several communities and rural municipalities outside Winnipeg. Masks will be mandatory in all indoor public places in these communities. All private and public gatherings will be restricted to 10 people, both indoors and outdoors.
As part of its response to COVID-19, Manitoba Families is beginning to distribute reusable masks to its clients. This will include two reusable masks for every adult in the household and for children aged five to nine. Older children are receiving their masks through their school or child-care provider. In total, more than 227,000 reusable masks will be distributed across the province in the coming weeks, beginning in Winnipeg.
Public health officials have advised the following schools about possible exposures:
• École Précieux-Sang in Winnipeg on Sept. 18: based on the public health investigation, the exposure was assessed to be low risk and the infection was not acquired at school.
The chief provincial public health officer strongly encourages Manitobans to focus on these fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
• People must stay home if sick.
• Wash/sanitize your hands, cover your cough and physically distance when you are with people outside your household.
• If you cannot physically distance, you should wear a mask to help reduce your risk.
• Reduce the number of close contacts outside your household, and avoid closed-in or crowded spaces.
Unless recommended by public health officials, only individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. Individuals with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present. Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials.