No new positive COVID-19 tests reported for seventh time in last eight days May 19

Ban on non-essential travel to Northern Manitoba remains in place to protect vulnerable populations

Manitoba public health reported no new cases of COVID-19 in the province for the seventh time in the last eight days May 19.

There have been 290 positive tests for the novel coronavirus in the province since the pandemic began and 257 of those cases are considered recovered. There are 26 active cases and seven people have died from their infections. There was one person in hospital due to COVID-19 May 19 and that patient was not in intensive care.

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On May 18, 379 lab tests for the virus were completed, bringing the provincial total to 35,578 since early February.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said that the proportion of positive tests over the past week was about .03 per cent and that it was likely that some public health orders could be eased earlier than the June 1 date projected for the province to move into phase two of its gradual reopening plan.

“We still need to be very strict with our physical distancing when out in public,” he said, particularly people who have additional risk factors such as compromised immunity, heart or lung conditions, or who are over the age of 65. It is also vital, Roussin said, that people with respiratory illness symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath or a headache stay home.

“We can’t have people showing up to work ill,” he said.

Roussin said that the ban on non-essential travel into Northern Manitoba remains in effect despite that fact that there haven’t been any positive tests in the region recently because there are communities with particularly vulnerable populations that are at greater risk of severe outcomes if they do contract the coronavirus.

“We have to do what we can to protect those that are vulnerable,” he said.

Manitoba Hydro’s plan to reopen its Keeyask generating station construction site has been approved because it fits within public health guidelines, as workers who have been out of the province must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Manitoba and test negative for the coronavirus before returning to work.

Though the situation in Manitoba is looking favourable for economic reopening to occur ahead of scheduled, Roussin said people still need to be cautious.

“We could see that upward trend again if we let up on our precautions,” he said.

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