No new Manitoba COVID-19 cases, info on last reported case released

Manitoba health officials have released more information about the province's latest reported case of COVID-19.

Chief provincial health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced no new cases May 19, but noted a case of COVID-19 was detected over the May long weekend.

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The person who tested positive over the weekend was described by Roussin as a worker at a Winnipeg-area Walmart. Roussin shared when the person had worked and that they were not able to link the case to travel or a previously detected case.

“We know the virus is still here,” he said.

“It’s not a return to normal. We could see an upward trend if we let up on our precautions.”

Roussin noted the risk of the public catching the virus from the Walmart worker was low.

“During the contact investigation and review with the [individual], there weren't opportunities with close, prolonged contact with customers,” he said.

“That makes it low risk - certainly not zero risk and that’s why we announced it.”

Roussin also hinted the maximum group gathering size might be increased later this week. Manitoba residents can only gather in groups of 10. The province’s current reopening plan is set to move into phase two as early as June 1.

Travel to and from the north will likely be restricted for the rest of the month, but Roussin didn’t rule out tweaking the orders.

“We know remote, isolated communities are susceptible to outbreaks and severe outcomes, should the virus get there,” he said.

“We’re always looking at the balance between protecting the economy and protecting the health of Manitobans.”

No new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Northern Health Region since April 8. Any symptomatic Manitoban is eligible to be tested and does not need a referral to get tested.

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