Manitoba passes 100-case mark with seven new positive tests for COVID-19

Manitoba passed the 100-case threshold for probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases with the announcement of seven additional positive tests March 31.

Those new cases bring the total in the province to 103. The first positive test for the novel coronavirus in Manitoba was announced March 12.

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Of the 103 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, three are currently hospitalized, down one from March 30, but two of them are in intensive care, up one from the previous day. The total number of deaths from the virus remains at one. Four of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, the province says.

One of the people who tested positive was a staff member at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre, who was working in the centre’s emergency department and medicine ward March 19-21 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 22-23 from 11:45 p.m. to 7:45 a.m.. A public health investigation is underway to follow up with other staff members and patients who were within two metres of the affected person for more than 10 minutes while the person was symptomatic. These people will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact and to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 378 COVID-19 tests on March 30 and 8,914 tests in total had been completed as of Monday.

Manitoba's chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a March 31 press conference that the turnaround time for sample testing is usually within 48 hours but can take longer and that "the clock doesn't start ticking until the sample is at the lab," which means northern residents who are tested may have to wait an extra day or more to receive their results back.

Manitoba’s health care system is seeking donations of N95 respirators, surgical/procedure masks, gloves, disposable gowns and disinfectants and cleaners. Supplies must be in their original packaging, clean and in useable condition. Expired supplies can not be donated.

The province’s chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa says Manitoba is also seeking active registered nurses with adult and pediatric critical care experience who are willing to pick up extra shifts, be reassigned to an intensive care unit or be redeployed to different intensive care units.

“We need an increased number of nurses who have critical care experience in the coming days and weeks,” said Siragusa.

As of 11:30 Eastern time March 31, there were 7,708 probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, not including the seven newly announced Manitoba cases, and there had been 89 deaths, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Quebec has more than 3,400 cases while Ontario is nearing 2,000 and B.C. is close to 1,000.

© Melita New Era