Of the cases related to outbreaks or clusters between January 24 and June 12, 36.9% were related to workplaces and 17.8% were related to industrial environments. The data comes from Manitoba Health’s latest COVID-19 Weekly Monitoring Report.
At a press conference last Friday, Dr Jazz Atwal, the province’s deputy chief public health officer, said the province would begin including data on possible sources of acquisition and transmission of COVID- 19 in its weekly reports.
Transmission data includes information about places people have visited while they are contagious and may have transmitted the virus to others. The acquisition data includes information about the places visited by people during the incubation period of the virus, which can be up to 14 days before the onset of obvious symptoms.
“In some cases, the possible exposure can be very clear, for example if the person was in close contact with someone who tested positive or if they contracted COVID while traveling,” Atwal said.
“However, in other cases there may be multiple possible exposures to COVID-19 for an individual. These cases are determined as acquired by the community or acquired unknown. In these scenarios, we try to find out more about where the person was to see if any acquisition or transmission patterns appear. “
Other top sources of cluster-related COVID-19 cases include daycare centers (9.5%), schools (8.7%), and acute care facilities (7.6%).
The province defines exposure as when a person was in one of these potential transmission environments while infectious, that is, approximately two days before the onset of symptoms until the person is classified as no longer contagious.
According to the data, workplaces, industrial settings, acute care facilities and schools all had a lower proportion of recent cluster-related cases compared to the previous week, while daycares made up a lower proportion of recent cluster-related cases compared to the previous week. higher proportion (about 12% against 2% cent the previous week).
Households remain the largest transmission cadre of all COVID-19 transmissions, at 61.5%. Social gatherings account for 11.7 percent of all transmissions, followed by workplaces (10.3 percent), transportation (4.6 percent), and schools at 3.5 percent.
About a quarter of COVID-19 cases have no known source. Among these, the top five possible acquisition parameters include households (29.1%), workplaces (16.8%), retail (10.9%), social gatherings (6 , 4%) and schools (4%).
1st time data is published
In January, CBC Manitoba obtained data on sources of transmission through an access to information request that found workplaces to be the source of 25 percent of community-related cases.
This is the first time the province has included data on the proportion of cluster cases occurring in various settings in Manitoba.
It is not known why the province has released the data in the Weekly Reports at this point in the pandemic.
“They may have a better picture now,” virologist Jason Kindrachuk said.
The assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Emerging Viruses at the University of Manitoba said making information publicly available could be a useful guide to mitigating risks in various sectors in the future, especially especially before any general increase due to a delta variant.
“The data certainly helps us start to distinguish where there are areas that may in fact have early indications of transmission, and also gives us an idea of… focal areas for COVID transmission,” he said. .
Kindrachuk said some of the trends also suggest we should do more random testing in key areas with higher proportions of clusters or outbreaks.
“The question is going to be as we start to see wider community transmission pick up again … do we have enough surveillance, do we have enough immunization coverage that if the [delta variant] gets into these workplaces so that we can stem this transmission before it takes off. “