And, of course, not even 24 hours after my last update, where I reported that a coronavirus case in Minot, North Dakota, was the closest to me…
Local blog ChrisD.ca, Global News, and CTV News have all reported this morning on the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Winnipeg, which is Manitoba’s capital and biggest city. This presumptive test result needs to be confirmed by Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, which is also located in Winnipeg. The National Microbiology Lab is among a few dozen in the world that can handle Level 4 pathogens, requiring the highest level of biosecurity.
CTV News reported:
The province has confirmed the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
The case was confirmed at a news conference in Winnipeg Thursday morning with Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin.
Friesen said the patient is a woman in her 40s from the Winnipeg region who recently travelled to the Philippines. She is recovering at home and is in stable condition. She had been back in Canada for a few days before the positive test, and arrived at the hospital with a face mask.
The health minister added that two community screening centres will open in Winnipeg on Thursday to screen people for COVID-19.
Roussin recommended that Manitobans practice social distancing, avoid large crowds, minimize contact while in public and disinfect all surfaces.
“Fear and panic is not going to help us,” he said.
Roussin also recommended that businesses cancel all non-essential travel outside of Manitoba and that schools increase desk space between students.
Shared Health said COVID-19 testing is for symptomatic people only. Patients are encouraged to contact Health Links before going to any facility, and self-isolate while waiting for results. People without symptoms should not go to health centres and unless absolutely necessary.
The province was told about the presumptive case Thursday morning. It is tracing who the patient has been in contact with.
I won’t be reporting on any other coronavirus news today, but I just wanted to let people know that it’s here now, too. The waiting is over.
UPDATE 7:14 p.m.: And this evening, Manitoba reported its second and third presumptive cases of COVID-19, both in Winnipeg.
UPDATE March 18th, 2020: If you are looking for all the Manitoba provincial government’s information about COVID-19, click here.