Nine new cases of COVID-19 were announced at a Manitoba media briefing April 5, bringing the number of positive tests province-wide to 203.
Seventeen Manitobans are listed as "recovered" by the province. Eleven people are recovering in hospital, with seven in intensive care.
“We're seeing evidence of early community based transmission,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba chief public health officer, in the April 5 briefing.
“Unfortunately, we've been seeing severe outcomes. Now is the time for all Manitobans to act. Stay home whenever you can. Only go out for essentials.”
Two people have died in the province, both in Winnipeg.
Roussin said the Cadham Provincial Laboratory, located in Winnipeg, had tested 488 samples April 4. Manitoba has processed nearly 13,000 tests since the outbreak began.
Roussin also brought some good news, as a positive test from a care home worker in Gimli was determined to be a false positive. The chief public health officer also encouraged caution during the Easter season, advocating for people to avoid holding mass gatherings or large family events.
“I discourage family get-togethers, even during the holidays,” Roussin said.
“Now is the time to stay home. We know there has been evidence of the virus being transmitted at such events in other jurisdictions.”
Roussin said it was too early in Manitoba’s outbreak to compare efforts to other provinces.
“B.C. and Ontario had cases at the end of January. Our first case was March 12, so it’s a bit early to compare,” he said.
“We'll continue to closely monitor our epidemiology and we’re working on things like modelling.”
Premier Brian Pallister said April 3 the province would be releasing some projections on how far the virus could spread in Manitoba this week.
“Do not wait for a [public health] order to apply to you. Act now,” Roussin said.