Seven new cases of COVID-19 in The Pas announced Oct. 27

Manitoba Hydro confirms that worker at Keeyask tested positive and is being transferred off site

Eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Northern Manitoba Oct. 27, including seven cases in The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation/Kelsey health district and one new case from an unknown district.

There are currently 66 active COVID-19 cases in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) area and five residents in hospital due to the virus, none in intensive care, one fewer than on Oct. 26.

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Thompson did not report any new cases Oct. 27 and now has 11 active cases and 23 recoveries. All four Nisichawyasihk Cree Nation/Nelson House health district residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and the total in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake was reduced by one to nine from yesterday – two of them active and seven recovered.

The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation/Kelsey health district now has 29 active cases and two recoveries.

There have been 113 positive COVID-19 tests among northern residents since the pandemic arrived in Manitoba in March.

There has been a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 at Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask generating station worksite near Split Lake. This case was reported by Tataskweyak Cree Nation chief and council on their Facebook page Oct. 25 and confirmed to the Thompson Citizen by Manitoba Hydro Oct. 26.

“As per our pandemic protocol at the project, the individual was isolated while awaiting his test results and is being transferred off site,” said Manitoba Hydro media relations officer Bruce Owen. “Manitoba Health officials have been notified and are performing tracing and testing of close contacts, who have also been placed on isolation pending their test results as a precaution.” 

Workers from Manitoba have not been required to be tested for COVID-19 before reporting for work at Keeyask since July 28, but are required to complete a self-screening questionnaire before travelling to the site and to self-screen each morning while on-site. Anyone who feels unwell for any reason is required to report to the on-site nurse practitioner. One site testing is available for any suspected cases of COVID and there are stick isolation protocols to ensure anyone with symptoms does not come into contact with others. There are also enhanced cleaning requirements for all common areas in the camp and masks must be worn in all common areas.

Workers coming to Keeyask from regions designated as orange under Manitoba’s Pandemic Response System are also required to take their temperature and perform symptom checks twice daily. Anyone reporting to work from outside the country must self-isolate in Winnipeg for 14 days and test negative for COVID-19 before travelling to Keeyask, as would any Manitobans who had left the province while off work. Out-of-province workers must test negative for the virus before travelling to Keeyask and any worker coming from anywhere east of Terrace Bay, Ontario must also self-isolate for two weeks before reporting to the site.

There are three active cases of COVID-19 among people connected to University College of the North (UCN) in The Pas, including two students at the Kelsey Learning Centre and one UCN staff member, UCN academic and research vice-president Dan Smith said in a video newsletter Oct. 26. A previous case involving a student at the Thompson campus is now considered recovered. At least one of the confirmed cases at the Kelsey Learning Centre was present at the school Oct. 20 when they may have been infectious, according to the NRHA.

Manitoba public health said a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 attended a funeral in Cross Lake Oct. 18 while they were in their infectious period. Other attendees are advised to self-isolate and seek testing if symptoms develop.

Resent possible exposures to COVID-19 in the NRHA may have occurred Oct. 14, Oct. 16 and Oct. 20 at Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in The Pas, at a funeral in Norway House Oct. 20, at Scott Bateman Middle School in the Pas Oct. 15 and Oct. 16, at Opasquia Elementary School in The Pas Oct. 19 and 20, at the New Avenue Hotel bar in The Pas between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Oct. 20 and at a funeral in Lake St. Martin First Nation Oct. 20.

Across the province, 184 new cases of COVID 19 were announced Oct. 27, including144 in Winnipeg, 19 in the southern health region, nine cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region and four in the Prairie Mountain health region. There are 2,238 active cases of COVID-19 in the province right now, and 83 people are currently in hospital due to the virus,15 of them in intensive care. Three new deaths were announced Oct. 27 bringing the total number of Manitobans who have died as a result of COVID-19 to 58. There have been a total of 4,532 positiv tests for the virus in the province cases since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Manitoba in mid-March.

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