First COVID-19 case confirmed in northern Manitoba

Manitoba’s chief provincial health officer confirmed northern Manitoba has their first case of COVID-19.

Out of 24 new cases announced at the province's March 30 daily update, one case was confirmed to be somewhere witihn the Northern Health Region (NHR). Manitoba now has 96 probable or confirmed cases of the disease.

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The province has conducted over 8,500 tests for the virus to date.

Roussin said they will continue to release numbers based on health region, but won’t give any more specific details when it comes to location.

“It's not to affect behavior, because we want all Manitobans to practice social distancing at all times,” Roussin said. 

“If you're at risk of being in contact with a case, public health will be in contact with you. We want everyone right now, whether you're aware of a case in your town or city, to practice social distancing.”

Four Manitobans are in the hospital battling COVID-19 symptoms, with one in intensive care. One person has died from the disease in Manitoba while and two have recovered.

“If you are aware of a case within your town or city, you should practice social distancing. If you are not aware of such a case, you should practice social distancing,” Roussin said.

Earlier in the day, the Premier of Manitoba announced all non-essential businesses in the province will close April 1. Roussin added an update on school closures will be coming in the next few days.

“We know that starting April 1, the difficulty level may rise for many people,” Roussin said. “You're doing your part to essentially save lives in Manitoba, and we really appreciate that.”

Testing around Manitoba is by referral only. Roussin said the province will only be testing symptomatic people for the foreseeable future.

Manitobans experiencing flu-like symptoms are encouraged to call Health Links-Info Santé at (204) 788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 for more information.

© Melita New Era