Manitoba Media Bulletin
March 16, 2020
All presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 have been lab confirmed for a total of seven lab-confirmed cases.
Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential international travel. In addition, public health officials are recommending all international travellers self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after returning to Canada.
Work is underway to finalize guidelines for health-care workers and critical infrastructure workers who return from international travel to address any impacts on essential services. All physicians, health-care providers and staff returning from international travel MUST self-identify to their organization/site’s occupational health services.
Given the evolving COVID-19 situation, the health system is now implementing elevated precautions to protect patients, as many have underlying medical conditions that put them at greater risk of becoming severely ill due to COVID-19. Certain individuals should NOT visit acute care or long-term care facilities. This includes those who have:
• returned from international travel in the last 14 days;
• been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days; or
• have cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, weakness or headache.
Effective immediately, only one visitor per patient at a time is allowed in acute care facilities, such as hospitals, across Manitoba. This does not apply to parents of children in hospital. Also, exceptions will be made at a manager’s discretion for special circumstances, such as visitors who require an escort or those going to see a patient nearing the end of their life.
In addition, Manitoba and Doctors Manitoba have agreed on new payment options to offer virtual visit and virtual care psychotherapy options to supplement traditional models of care including video-conferencing options. Physicians will work with their patients to use these options.
Transportation industry partners needs to ensure all companies are made aware of important considerations with respect to essential cross-border crossings. At this time, public health officials are not mandating drivers to self-isolate after crossing the border to ensure essential services continue.
However, all companies should make sure drivers are not showing respiratory symptoms before crossing the border and take the necessary measures if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. This includes calling Health-Links Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 to speak to a health practitioner and requesting the affected driver to self-isolate until they are assessed.
Manitoba’s adult and youth correctional facilities continue to allow visitors, with restrictions in place to protect the health and safety of people in custody as well as staff. Visits from family members will continue to be allowed but with no contact. Visits with legal counsel will continue with no changes. All centres have suspended all visits from volunteers and community agencies until further notice.
There have been reports of multiple phishing scams related to COVID-19. Many are asking people for credit card information to provide medication following a positive test results. This is not a call that Manitobans would receive from public health officials. Manitobans are advised to not provide any financial data, hang up on the call and to report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501.
For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED