September 27, 2020

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What to do if COVID-19 suspected

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This article was published 12/3/2020 (199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

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Manitoba's health department has implemented guidelines for who to call and where to go if Manitobans are concerned they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with it.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if they're mild, stay at home and follow local health authorities' instructions to self-isolate. Symptoms include dry cough, fever, or sore throat.

This undated electron microscope image of the Novel Coronavirus SARS- , also known as COVID-19, made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 (Niaid-Rml / AP/Canadian Press files)

This undated electron microscope image of the Novel Coronavirus SARS- , also known as COVID-19, made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 (Niaid-Rml / AP/Canadian Press files)

Public health officials have expanded testing criteria include all symptomatic Manitobans. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat. You are advised to take the online self-assessment test ahead of visiting a screening location

Individuals who are not experiencing signs/symptoms of COVID-19 will not be tested.

If you need to seek medical attention for any fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call ahead and follow instructions. Manitobans should call Health Links (1-888-315-9257) or, if it's an emergency, call 911.

People in Manitoba who are directed to be tested will be asked to visit a community screening location. There are multiple locations across the province; see a full list here.

The province has also stated all respiratory specimens submitted to the provincial lab will be tested for COVID-19, even if such testing was not ordered.

As for travellers returning from out-of-province locations, public health officials are advising self-isolation for 14 days — meaning avoiding going out into public during that two-week span.

While the virus does pose a risk to the general public, there are certain groups the province says are at higher risk for exposure, including people 65 years and older, those with underlying medical conditions and compromised immune systems.

To mitigate risk, the province is also advising the general public to continue to exercise proper hygiene, including frequent handwashing, and sneezing and coughing into arms, not hands.

People are also advised to be skeptical of information that doesn't come from reputable sources, and to avoid unverified information.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, speaks during the province’s latest COVID-19 update Thursday morning. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, speaks during the province’s latest COVID-19 update Thursday morning. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

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History

Updated on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 7:00 PM CDT: Updated

March 24, 2020 at 7:08 PM: Updates screening-centre locations.

May 19, 2020 at 1:58 PM: Updates testing criteria.

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