Manitobans who have tested positive for COVID-19 are beginning to recover, but officials caution that the province’s risk is still high.
Four new cases of COVID-19 were announced April 8, bringing the provincial total up to 221. Since the outbreak began, 69 people have recovered from the disease - almost a third of all reported cases.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba chief public health officer, said while it was nice to see nearly 70 people have recovered, he cautioned against any early celebrations.
“Now is not the time to let our guard down,” he said.
“These next few weeks are critical to Manitoba’s response in responding to this virus and flattening the curve.”
Three Manitobans have died due to COVID-19.
With Easter and Passover coming alongside anticipated nicer weather this weekend, officials are sounding the alarm, reminding Manitobans to stay home.
“Celebrate [holidays] virtually, celebrate them with immediate family members in the same household, but do not invite people over to your house,” Roussin said.
“Do not have Easter dinner or Passover with people from other households.”
Manitoba chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa confirmed none of the 20 health care workers who have tested positive came from the Northern Health Region.
Siragusa said the province is working hard to secure protective equipment for health care workers. She added they were short on N95 masks, gloves and other supplies.
“We'll have to make some decisions as to how we're going to distribute,” Siragusa said.
“More [supplies are] coming, so we think it'll be a very short term situation, but that's what we're facing right now.”
Roussin said he’s seeing some evidence social distancing efforts might be making a difference in the province and encouraged Manitobans to continue their efforts.
“We are making a difference, but we need to continue to make a difference,” Roussin said.
“If we loosen up, if we let our guard down, we may have lost any progress that we might be seeing right now.”