Manitoba pushes tighter self-isolation rules

Long-standing advice to stay home when sick now means any roommates, spouses, children and family members will have to hunker down, too, as the province attempts to control the spread of COVID-19.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/11/2020 (701 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Long-standing advice to stay home when sick now means any roommates, spouses, children and family members will have to hunker down, too, as the province attempts to control the spread of COVID-19.

Manitoba’s top doctor reported 241 new cases of COVID-19 and a five-day test positivity rate of nine per cent Monday — Winnipeg’s first day of city-wide critical (red) restrictions, while the rest of the province was elevated to the orange (restricted) risk level.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Manitoba has hit 6,275 — 3,455 are considered active, though there is a backlog in reporting pandemic recoveries.

People should stay home if someone they live with is waiting for COVID-19 test results, says Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer. (John Woods / The Canadian Press files)

With more people sick with the virus, Roussin said Manitobans must now stay at home if someone in their home is symptomatic, pending the results of a COVID-19 test.

“No one else goes to school, no one goes to work until that test result is back,” he said. If the result is negative, those without symptoms can end their isolation.

wfpsummary:The province has declared outbreaks at two more Winnipeg personal care homes: Convalescent Home of Winnipeg and Poseidon Care Centre.:wfpsummary

The province has declared outbreaks at two more Winnipeg personal care homes: Convalescent Home of Winnipeg and Poseidon Care Centre.

The outbreak at Parkview Place long-term care home has 138 total cases (106 residents) and 23 deaths; Maples care home as 146 total cases (117 residents) and six deaths; Heritage Lodge has 20 total cases (15 residents) and four deaths; and Misericordia Place has 20 total cases (12 residents) and two deaths.

The outbreak at Calvary Place has concluded, officials said.

An outbreak at Victoria General Hospital affecting two medicine units has grown to 40 patients, 37 staff and one death.

At St. Boniface Hospital, three more staff have tested positive after an outbreak was declared on three units. Four patients have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19 while at the facility.

At Headingley Correctional Centre, the outbreak of COVID-19 now includes 44 cases — 34 of which are inmates.

“This is a significant change; this is a change in the short-term, this is a change that we need to make now to really stop the transmission of this virus,” Roussin said.

“We know that this will lead to a lot of absenteeism — again, it’s in keeping with our message that people should be staying home, for the most part.”

Those with symptoms or who have been directed to self-isolate by public health, should stay in their own room and use their own bathroom and not use common areas, if possible.

However, health-care workers, first responders and certain other essential workers won’t have to self-isolate while a household member is awaiting their results, Roussin said.

The new self-isolation directive is not part of any current public health orders, a spokesperson for the provincial government confirmed.

New cases were reported Monday in all health regions: 35 in Interlake–Eastern, 29 in the Northern region, 11 in Prairie Mountain, 44 in Southern Health, and 122 in Winnipeg.

Roussin also reported the pandemic deaths of five more Manitobans; four of them connected to COVID-19 outbreaks in health-care settings. Among them, a Winnipeg woman in her 60s who was a patient at St. Boniface Hospital; a woman in her 70s who resided at Parkview Place long-term care home; a woman in her 80s who lived at Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre; and a woman in her 90s who lived at Maples personal care home.

A woman in her 50s from Winnipeg also died of COVID-19.

Since mid-March, 80 Manitobans have died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus; 65 of them in the last two months.

Chart showing daily hospitalizations and ICU admissions for COVID-19 cases

On Monday, 124 people were in hospital with COVID-19, including 18 in intensive care.

“We don’t have time. We need these restrictions to be followed now — not two weeks from now,” Roussin said.

The province has not released its most recent pandemic modelling, which forecasts how many cases, hospitalizations and deaths could be anticipated with various levels of restrictions.

However, a model developed by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests Manitoba could have more than 350 deaths and report up to 1,300 cases daily by Dec. 1, with non-essential businesses closed, large gatherings banned, and a high rate of face mask use in the region.

While Roussin said such projections aren’t always a reliable predictor of what’s to come, he emphasized Manitoba is now at a critical juncture in its response to the pandemic.

“It’s very hard to predict how many people would die, but what we do know is that given this trend, if we do not reverse this trend, we will see many more deaths. We will see strains on our health-care system,” Roussin said.

Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said the province’s intensive care units were 94 per cent full Monday.

Fifty health-care workers have tested positive for the virus in the past week, 48 of them in Winnipeg; 1,600 health-care workers were tested in the past week alone.

Manitoba now has a base of 80 ICU beds between four hospitals (including Brandon Regional Health Centre) and 75 were in use, with 18 occupied by COVID-19 patients. Eleven of those COVID-19 patients were on ventilators, Siragusa said.

Between Oct. 15 and 31, nearly 35 per cent of all new cases were people between the ages of 20 and 39. People between 40 and 59 years of age accounted for nearly 28 per cent of new cases.

“We are seeing all different ages in the hospital. Certainly, the senior citizens and those with chronic diseases are the most vulnerable, but we have people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and some teenagers as well,” Siragusa said.

“It’s not selective and it can impact all of us.”

— with files from Katie May

danielle.dasilva@freepress.mb.ca

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva
Reporter

Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.

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