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COVID-19: Manitoba Media Bulletin
April 1, 2020 COVID-19 BULLETIN #38
Public health officials advise 24 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 127 at this time.
The data also shows: • four individuals are currently hospitalized including three in intensive care; • four individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and • the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba remains at one.
Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 1,130 tests Tuesday. As of April 1, a total of 10,044 tests have been performed.
New screening procedures are being implemented for staff working in acute and long-term care facilities. Implementation of these measures will begin today and will involve all staff arriving for the start of their shift to have their temperature taken and be required to answer questions about any symptoms they have, their travel history and their exposure to positive COVID-19 cases. Staff who are required to come and go during the course of their shift may be re-screened upon re-entry into facilities and service areas.
Under The Public Health Act, new public health orders announced earlier this week take effect today. In addition, the chief provincial public health officer has clarified a public health order to ensure a better understanding for businesses classified as not providing critical services and how they are able to operate during the state of emergency.
All non-exempt businesses may: • continue to operate where customers can order goods online or by telephone; however, customers cannot attend the businesses’ premises or property to order goods; • continue to sell goods to customers where those goods can be picked up ‘curbside’ or delivered to customers; however, customers cannot pick up goods at businesses’ premises or on its property; • allow staff to attend the businesses’ premises, without a limitation on the number of staff, as long as staff take measures to keep social distancing of one to two metres apart from each other; and • accept delivery of goods and may allow services, such as construction, repairs, maintenance and cleaning to occur at their premises and on their property.
Additional details are available at https://engagemb.ca/.
Manitoba Justice continues to take steps to reduce the spread of infection and enhance access to justice throughout the province. As of April 2, new admissions to all adult and youth correctional centres in Manitoba will be handled through the Winnipeg Remand Centre (WRC). All individuals coming into custody will be isolated for up to 14 days to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 into facilities. Sheriff services will be assisting rural police agencies with transports whenever possible. All in-person visits for people in Manitoba’s adult and youth correctional centres have been suspended including inmate programs, staff training and other group activities.
The province is expanding the number of free phone calls for individuals in custody to help them maintain contact with their support systems. Lawyers are encouraged to meet with clients remotely, whenever possible, but in-person visits with clients can continue at all facilities, with the exception of the WRC. Cleaning procedures in all Manitoba’s correctional centres have increased significantly including the use of fogging equipment to disinfect large and high-traffic areas. Protocols for the use of personal protective equipment are in place to ensure the safety of staff and inmates.
As of April 2, greater access to bail hearings on evenings and weekends will increase the efficiency of the system, ensure timely bail and other hearings and limit unnecessary admissions to the WRC. Crown attorneys will work on evenings, overnight and on weekends for consultations and hearings and to work with defence counsel on sentencing recommendations. The province is also working with police agencies to expand remote bail hearings in the north. The number of court hearings that can be held by phone will also be increased to avoid unnecessary transportation of people out of their communities.
Public health is also advising that people remain within or close to their home communities. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only. Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.
As Manitoba’s health system continues with preparations to ensure it is prepared to meet the needs of patients and to ensure appropriate protection from COVID-19 is available to health-care workers, donations of the following supplies are now welcome: • N95 respirators of various models and sizes, both hospital and industrial grade; • surgical/procedure masks; • gloves; • disposable gowns; and • disinfectants and cleaners.
Supplies must be in original packaging, clean and in useable condition. Expired supplies are not able to be accepted.
For more information on donating supplies, visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/supply-donations/ or call (toll-free) 1-833-408-0101.
There are 16 community testing sites in Manitoba, including seven drive-thru locations, with plans to open in more communities in the coming days. The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at 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.