Thompson clinic screens 153 people for the novel coronavirus over first five days of operation

Thompson’s COVID-19 testing site, one of 11 throughout Manitoba set up since the first case of the novel coronavirus emerged in the province earlier in March, screened* 153 people during its first full week of operations March 16-20, the Northern Regional Health Authority says. The NRHA did not provide the total number of people tested out of the 153 screened over those five days.

The clinic is not a walk-in operation but only for people referred there by a physician or after calling Health Links. Not everyone who is referred there receives a test. On the first day of operations March 16, 13 of the 100 people screened there were tested for COVID-19. Daily numbers of how many people were screened and tested were not provided for March 17-20 . No one in Northern Manitoba has tested positive for COVID-19 as of March 23.

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By Monday, there were 11 confirmed and nine probable cases of the coronavirus in Manitoba, mostly in Winnipeg, with other cases in the Interlake-Eastman Health Region and Southern Health–Santé Sud region.

Across Canada, as of 11 a.m. Eastern time March 23, there were 1,432 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 42 probable cases. Twenty people in Canada had died as the result of their infections. Nearly 103,000 people across Canada have been tested for COVID-19 since the first positive test, and there are more than 400 confirmed cases in both Ontario and British Columbia, while Alberta and Quebec have each identified more than 200 cases.

Most of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada have been identified since the beginning of March and people aged 50 to 59 represent 19 per cent of the cases. Forty-seven per cent of cases so far are among people younger than 50 and the Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 44 per cent have occurred among people who recently travelled outside of Canada, with another seven per cent caused by close contact with someone who had recently travelled internationally. Forty-four per cent were likely exposed to the virus within Canada.

Manitoba declared a state of emergency as a result of the pandemic March 20, which prohibits public gatherings of more than 50 people. Anyone who has travelled outside of the province should self-isolate for 14 days following their trip, says Manitoba’s public health department.

Anyone concerned that they may have or have been exposed to the coronavirus should call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required. An online screening tool is available at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

People have been asked to stay home as much as possible to reduce their risk of exposure to the coronavirus and to wash their hands often and clean frequently touched surfaces. The main symptoms of COVID-19 infection are a fever, a cough and shortness of breath.

*The original version of this story said 153 people had been tested for COVID-19 March 16-20. The Northern Regional Health Authority actually said 153 people had been screened for the virus in Thompson in the first five days of the testing site being open. The Thompson Citizen apologizes for the error. 

© Melita New Era