Eleven new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba by chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin at a Sept. 8 press conference.
Eight of the cases were in Winnipeg, Roussin said, with two in the southern health region and one in the Interlake-Eastman health region.
The Prairie Mountain health region did not report a new case for the first time since Aug. 4.
There were 13 people in hospital due to the virus Sept. 8, three of them in intensive care. There are 393 active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,349 positive tests for COVID-19 in Manitoba and 148,357 people have been tested. Sixteen people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus.
Roussin responded briefly to a question about the fifth case of COVID-19 in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) area, which was announced Sept. 6. Initially the case was identified on the province’s COVID-19 website as being in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon health district, though on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 the website said the case was in an unknown health district.
“That is the district,” said Roussin when asked if it was in the Flin Flon district or another one. He didn’t identify how the person acquired the virus but said the contact investigation didn’t turn up any concerning contacts that public health felt the need to make a public announcement about.
Roussin also said that sports teams would be allowed to travel into Northern Manitoba for games despite the restrictions on travel from the province’s south to beyond the 53rd parallel.
“We’ve allowed for a number of exemptions for all sorts of activities and this is yet another one that we felt had a lot of benefit to it and lower risk,” he explained.
With school having resumed in Manitoba Sept. 8, the chief public health officer said information about cases in schools would be made public.
“We have to expect to see cases in schools so if we see that we’ll be working our way from the inside out,” Roussin said, beginning with close contacts who need to self-isolate for 14 days. “That could be a subset of the cohort or it could be an entire cohort but we’ll be informing those people first, then we’ll be informing the school community that there’s been a case and then well be posting it on our pandemic response system that that school has had a case and we’re going to name the school and do what we can to name the cohorts, whether that’s by grade or another identifier.”
Responding to a question about why physical distancing is still necessary for students in Grade 4 and up, who are required to wear masks, Roussin said masks are an additional step, not a replacement for other measures.
“We know that especially with children while they’re with adults for eight hours adherence to proper mask use is going to be challenging and so we don’t want to just rely on the mask use, we want to have it as an additional factor to all the other fundamentals we have in place.”