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Alberta reports 47 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 new deaths – CBC.ca

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Alberta reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 in the province over the last 24 hours Tuesday.

The province also recorded two new deaths, bringing the total number to 157.

Both deaths involved men in their 70s and are linked to an outbreak at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton.

The hospital closed its doors to most new patients on Monday, instituting a series of “aggressive” pandemic protocols to combat an outbreak currently linked to 17 patients and 15 staff.

The number of active cases in the province is now at 620, with 54 people in hospital and six of those patients in intensive care.

The breakdown of active cases across the province is:

  • Edmonton zone: 243
  • Calgary zone: 230
  • South zone: 86
  • North zone: 51
  • Central zone: 4
  • Unknown: 6

A total of 7,659 people have recovered from the illness in Alberta.

So far provincial laboratories have conducted 493,935 swab tests for COVID-19.

The County Of Warner No. 5 in southern Alberta continues to be listed as under a “watch,” a designation that kicks in when an area has at least 10 active cases and a rate of more than 50 active cases per 100,000 population.

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Brandon must roll back reopening: Liberals – Winnipeg Free Press

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Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says the public must receive more detailed information about COVID-19 cases in Manitoba. (The Canadian Press files)

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said the province needs to dial back its reopening strategy in Brandon, which has a cluster of 40 COVID-19 cases, with about half involving workers at the Maple Leaf pork plant.

Currently, Manitoba is in Phase Four of its reopening strategy, which allows for more people to sit in bars and restaurants as long as they can maintain a two-metre distance, and a greater number of people can gather at indoor and outdoor events, for example. There is no mask mandate in the province, but people are advised to wear one in crowded indoor places.

Lamont said Brandon should revert to earlier stages of the phased-in reopening plan because he worries there is a risk of greater community transmission.

On Sunday, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said a small number of the cases in Brandon may have been transmitted in the community, but most involve people who are close contacts of each other.

Eighteen workers at the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon have tested positive for COVID-19. (Tim Smith / Brandon Sun files)

Eighteen workers at the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon have tested positive for COVID-19. (Tim Smith / Brandon Sun files)

A second cluster is located in the Steinbach area.

Lamont said the government should be willing to roll back the reopening plan in any COVID-19 hot spot in the province, instead of sticking to one plan for such a large geographic area.

He also said the government’s pandemic communications strategy creates confusion and does a disservice to the public when information about outbreaks is not specific. For example, Roussin won’t specifically say the Maple Leaf plant is involved. Instead, he refers to a business in Brandon.

The government argues it doesn’t want to stigmatize groups of people. It refused to be specific even after the media had reported that the outbreak is at the meat plant.

Lamont said safety must be the “paramount concern.”

“People fill in what they don’t know with rumours and speculation,” he said.

Lamont said many of the workers at the Brandon meat plant come from foreign countries such as Mexico and the Philippines, live together in close quarters and cannot self-isolate. He suggested the City of Brandon should look at setting up an isolation centre to help contain the spread of the virus.

 

He said the Tory government all but declared the pandemic over in Manitoba by encouraging people to travel and businesses to reopen quickly. He pointed out that people don’t know where to travel if they are not specifically told by the government where an outbreak is occurring, other than in specific health regions, which are vast places.

On Sunday, Roussin did say changes would be made this week in terms of information posted on the provincial COVID-19 website. Data will be broken down by health districts within each health authority. Currently they are listed under one of the five authorities.

“This will allow us to break down case numbers in more detail while continuing to ensure the privacy of Manitobans,” he said.

 

 

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PMH tallies 32 new COVID cases over the weekend – Brandon Sun

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RUTH BONNEVILLE

Manitoba’s chief provincial health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, holds a press conference at the Legislative Building on Friday. Roussin hosted a weekend press conference for the first time in a while on Sunday. (RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

The province reported 51 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba over the weekend—16 on Saturday and 35 on Sunday—including a total of 32 in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The 35 new overall cases revealed on Sunday marks the second-highest one-day jump since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 20 new PMH cases announced on Sunday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, announced in a rare weekend news conference that at least seven of these cases are connected to a single business in Brandon.

Although Roussin mentioned that the seven affected individuals are self-isolating, and that there was no evidence of workplace transmission, he would not name the specific business in question when asked.

However, this announcement follows a week where at least 10 workers from the Maple Leaf Foods pork processing plant in Brandon have tested positive for the virus.

And as of Sunday evening, UFCW Local 832 president Jeff Traeger told the Sun that eight additional positive cases of COVID-19 were discovered at Maple Leaf Brandon over the weekend, bringing their total amount of known cases up to 18.

“These new cases strengthen our call on Maple Leaf Brandon to close for a one-week period until all test results are in, and the situation is under control,” Traeger wrote in this email. 

Over the weekend, several other businesses in the Wheat City closed their doors or significantly reduced their services due to concerns that one of their workers might have contracted COVID-19. This includes Marino’s Pizza, the McDonald’s restaurant on Victoria Avenue and the Shoppers Drug Mart also located on Victoria.

Employees from a local Walmart and a Tim Hortons restaurant on Highway 1 also tested positive for COVID-19 last week, prompting the latter establishment to shut down so it can be thoroughly sanitized.

In general, Roussin said on Sunday that this growing cluster in Brandon was approaching and may have exceeded 40 people.

Otherwise, this batch of new cases over the weekend brings Manitoba’s total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases up to 542.

Sunday’s COVID-19 data also shows that six people are currently hospitalized, with three individuals being in intensive care.

Overall, the province is now contending with 182 active cases in Manitoba, with 352 individuals having recovered from the virus.

Manitoba’s COVID-19 related death rate remains at eight.

While Roussin admits that the recent spike in new cases is discouraging, he implores Manitoba to remain vigilant and stick to the essentials of good social distancing: vigorous hand-washing, avoiding crowded indoor spaces and staying at home if you feel ill.

“Our concern has never gone away,” he said. “We’ve had to find ways to continue to articulate to Manitobans that we have to be careful. And certainly, as we see these numbers go up, we’re going to increase that messaging.”

An additional 756 laboratory tests were completed on Saturday, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 100,830.

» kdarbyson@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson

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Manitoba sees 35 new cases of coronavirus Sunday – Winnipeg – Global News

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The province’s top doctor confirmed 35 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba Sunday.

Dr. Brent Roussin held the rare Sunday press conference amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, including 16 new infections on Saturday.

While many of Sunday’s cases appear linked to known clusters in the Southern Health health region and the city of Brandon or are close contacts of a previously announced case, the province said in its COVID-19 update, there may be a small number of cases of unknown acquisition in those areas.

However, public health officials are still investigating where those cases were contracted.

A total of 542 people have contracted the novel coronavirus in Manitoba. Six people are in hospital — three of them in intensive care. Of the 542 infections, 182 cases are still active, while 352 people have recovered. Eight people have died.

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16 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Manitoba Saturday

The latest data show 20 of the new cases are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 10 are in the Southern Health, four are in the Winnipeg health region and one is in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

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The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 1.45 per cent.

Many of the recent cases, including the majority of Saturday’s new infections, are connected to a cluster in Brandon — as of Friday, 34 people have been infected in the city.

Roussin could not provide the exact number of cases linked to the Brandon cluster, but said it is approaching 40 or may have exceeded it.

Those cases are all linked to one person who returned to Brandon from eastern Canada and did not properly self isolate.

The western Manitoba city’s Maple Leaf Foods plant has seen at least 10 workers infected with the virus, but Roussin and the company say the employees were not infected at work.

Seven of the new cases are workers at a business in Brandon, but Roussin would not expand when asked which business.

However, the union that represents workers at the pork plant, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832, said eight more employees have tested positive for COVID-19 — bringing the total to 18.

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A McDonald’s restaurant in Brandon closed its doors Saturday after an employee tested positive for the virus — the employee had last worked at the 2626 Victoria Avenue location on Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., McDonald’s Canada said in a statement.

Another restaurant also closed Sunday after a Marino’s Pizza employee was exposed to a person who has since tested positive, but the restaurant employee does not have the virus.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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