The province’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, made the announcement at a press conference on Saturday morning.
Seven Manitobans are hospitalized for the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Four of these patients are in intensive care units, he said.
Roussin said that 140 people from the province have recovered from COVID-19 and 108 cases are considered active.
On Friday, it was the first time since the virus was detected in Manitoba that the number of cases recovered in the province exceeded its active cases.
The Cadham, Manitoba laboratory performed 340 tests for COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of tests performed in the province to 19,193.
Roussin said many Manitobans heeded the warnings not to attend large gatherings to celebrate Easter and Passover earlier this month. He said he hopes to extend this warning to Ramadan celebrations, which begin next week.
“I wish all Muslim Manitobans a happy Ramadan, but remind everyone this year that the celebrations will be different,” he said. “These are difficult decisions … but for this immediate future, we must change the way we do things. “
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He encouraged people to connect virtually instead of meeting in person.
Roussin said the relatively low number of cases recently could be a sign that physical distancing measures are working in the province. He said he was confident that people would continue to follow public health instructions.
“From the start, Manitobans have been open to our interventions,” said Roussin. “We know it is difficult, but Manitobans are persevering. “
He said the province is looking into when Manitoba can start lifting some of the measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, and what it might look like.
“Obviously this will be done very carefully and very slowly, based on the numbers,” he said. “As we open the economy, we need to make sure our numbers don’t grow too quickly. “
Lanette Siragusa, chief nurse of Shared Health, reminded people on Saturday that while wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus to others, it shouldn’t make people feel like they can ignore it. other public health measures such as hand washing and physical distance.
“It is important to recognize that these masks are often homemade,” said Siragusa, adding that this means that they probably do not meet the standards for medical grade masks worn by health workers.
“Wearing them shouldn’t change your behavior when you’re with others. “
She said that people should wash their hands before putting on and taking off their masks, and that masks should not be shared.
People should also avoid touching their faces when wearing masks, she said, and be careful when removing them as they could be contaminated.
The masks should be immediately put in a bag or in linen after being worn, said Siragusa, and the masks used should be washed with hot water and thoroughly dried.
Siragusa said the province is also considering increasing the number of diagnostic tests and surgeries in Manitoba after some procedures have been canceled in anticipation of an outbreak of COVID-19.
Roussin also reminded Manitobans on Saturday that health officials have expanded the screening criteria for COVID-19 to include people with symptoms who work or volunteer in places considered essential services.
People with symptoms who live with a healthcare worker, first responder or worker in a correctional facility, shelter, long-term care or residential facility are also now eligible for the test.