New COVID-19 case visited Winnipeg retail locations

Public health officials are advising Manitobans to watch for symptoms of the novel coronavirus if they visited two big-box stores in south Winnipeg last week.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/06/2020 (954 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Public health officials are advising Manitobans to watch for symptoms of the novel coronavirus if they visited two big-box stores in south Winnipeg last week.

On Thursday, Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, announced two new cases of COVID-19: a man and a woman in their 40s from the Winnipeg region. Roussin said one individual had travelled to Manitoba from Europe and the other is a household contact.

Roussin said the household contact stopped at the Home Depot at 1999 Bishop Grandin Blvd. on June 12, between 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., and the Walmart at 1665 Kenaston Blvd. on June 13, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., for about five minutes.

The individual was not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 while at the stores, Roussin said, and risk of exposure to the public is very low.

“Ideally, when people are self-isolating, if they self-isolate at home, you shouldn’t really have close contact with those at home, and if you do, those people should essentially be self-isolating,” Roussin said.

CP A person confirmed to have COVID-19 was at the Home Depot on Bishop Grandin on June 12 between 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. (Jim Mone / The Associated Press files)

“We do know the person who did the travelling was self-isolating the whole time,” he added. “For the most part, the self-isolation of the traveller went as we would recommend.”

Winnipeg casinos prep for potential July 2 reopening

JESSE BOILY / WINNIPEG FREE PRES McPhillips Street Station casino (Jesse Boily / Winnipeg Free Press files)


Winnipeg's two government-run casinos are gearing up to reopen sooner than expected.

The Free Press has learned Club Regent and McPhillips Station are tentatively set to resume operations as early as July 2. The casinos have been closed since March 18, due to novel coronavirus restrictions, and were not included in the province's Phase 3 reopening plan, taking effect Sunday.

"The employer has said the tentative opening date for casinos is July 2, and some employees may be called in a bit earlier for orientation," a Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union spokesperson said Thursday.

"It's our understanding the employer is working to ensure protocols are in place to ensure the safety of staff and customers."

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As of Thursday, Manitoba had 308 total cases of COVID-19, eight of which are active. No one was in hospital as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, and 293 people have recovered from the disease.

The province ran 828 tests Wednesday, bringing the total since early February to 55,743.

Roussin also provided additional details on two new cases announced Wednesday in the Winnipeg region: two males, one in their 30s, and the other in their teens.

While the two cases are close contacts to each other, Roussin said public health officials have not been able to pin down where the initial exposure occurred. The individuals had a limited number of contacts and public exposure is minimal, he said.

“We do follow up for days continuing to look for these links,” Roussin said. “We don’t really have any significant community-based contacts that we could identify.”

None of the announced cases have been linked to the Justice 4 Black Lives rally June 5, at which thousands of people assembled on the west lawn of the Manitoba legislature, he noted.

The household contact with COVID-19 was at the Walmart on Kenaston on June 13, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., for about five minutes. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

The province’s top doctor said he doesn’t yet know when Manitobans will be able to access the national contact tracing application announced Thursday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, even as self-isolation requirements on some travellers are relaxed June 21.

The new app, which was built in collaboration with the government of Ontario, Blackberry Ltd. and Shopify Inc., uses Bluetooth technology to notify users if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. It will have a trial run in Ontario before being launched nationwide.

Trudeau said the app will be available across the country at the beginning of July, but requires integration with local public health authorities to have the greatest impact.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said the province’s preferred application would be capable of facilitating contact tracing with other jurisdictions effectively.

“We have a national economy. It doesn’t benefit from having barriers at the borders of provinces,” Pallister said. “We need to do everything we can — as we open our economy, as we take barriers down — to track COVID cases effectively.”

In the meantime, Manitoba will rely on a contact tracing and information-sharing framework already established with neighbouring provinces to monitor positive COVID-19 cases among travellers, Roussin said.

“Public health contact traces many of the reportable illnesses and we’re quite used to dealing with multi-jurisdictional issues with that,” he said. “That process has been going on right from the beginning.”

Roussin said he also anticipates reopening the press room at the Manitoba legislature to allow reporters to once again attend in-person briefings.

“That’s something in short order we’ll have up again,” he said.

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.

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