March 19, 2020
COVID-19 BULLETIN #21
Public health officials advise the number of lab-confirmed positive and presumptive positive cases in Manitoba remains at 17 at this time. Public health investigations are continuing on the two additional positive cases identified yesterday. It appears that both cases are related to travel. In an effort to protect patients, staff and the community, all Manitoba health-care facilities will soon begin implementing enhanced precautions and protocols which will involve additional visitor restrictions. Exceptions for compassionate reasons will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis. This step follows public health’s recommendation earlier this week to suspend visitor access to long-term-care facilities across the province. Similar to health-care facilities, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of individual facility managers. Preparations continue to ensure acute care facilities are prepared in the event of COVID-19 patients requiring admissions. Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg (HSC) has begun a series of moves as part of the provincially co-ordinated response. A medicine unit will today be relocated to existing clinical space in the former HSC Women’s Pavilion at 735 Notre Dame Ave. to enable the movement of patients within the hospital campus to create a 30-bed isolation unit. Twenty-seven additional ventilators, which are crucial to caring for critically ill patients, have arrived and will be put into operation at health-care facilities throughout the province. This brings Manitoba’s overall supply to 266. It is anticipated an additional 16 ventilators, also ordered last week, will be delivered in the coming weeks. Agencies that offer day programs through Community Living disABILITY Services for adults with intellectual disabilities have been asked to limit this service as part of the effort to support social distancing efforts and reduce the potential spread of the virus. As soon as possible, day services will only be offered to individuals who:
• live with family members who could lose their job if day services are not provided,
• are supported by home share providers who can’t provide care during daytime hours and where other arrangements are not possible, and
• cannot be safely supported in their residence during daytime hours.
Clients and their family members or care providers will receive further information as soon as possible. Manitoba now has nine dedicated testing sites for COVID-19. There are four sites in Winnipeg, as well as locations in Brandon, Thompson, Flin Flon, The Pas and Selkirk. Additional locations are expected to open in the coming days including drive-thru locations in Winnipeg and Steinbach. The new drive-thru in Winnipeg will open in the coming days at the Manitoba Public Insurance Bison Drive Service Centre at 15 Barnes St. (intersection of Barnes Street and Bison Drive) in south Winnipeg, while the Steinbach location will open tomorrow morning at the Community Health Services Building at 365 Reimer Ave. 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 before arriving at a testing site. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit: www.manitoba.ca/covid19