Outbreak declared at 3rd Manitoba personal care home as provincial COVID-19 cases climb by 55 on Saturday

An outbreak has been declared at the Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon, Man., after a health-care worker there tested positive for COVID-19, the province says in a news release.

The employee’s case was one previously identified in the Prairie Mountain Health region, which includes Brandon. The person wore personal protective equipment at work and is now self-isolating, the release says. Close contacts of the worker have been notified, as have families and staff at the site.

The care home has been moved to the red, or “critical,” level in the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

The risk at the site is low, but outbreak protocols have been started out of “an abundance of caution,” including putting precautionary measures in place and restricting visitation, the release says.

The care home is the third in Manitoba to have a COVID-19 outbreak declared in recent weeks, including another in Brandon.

The Rideau Park Personal Care Home in the southwestern Manitoba city initiated outbreak protocols on Thursday, after an employee there tested positive for the illness.

The Bethesda Place care home in Steinbach declared an outbreak on Aug. 17. To date, eight people at that site have tested positive for COVID-19, including three residents — two of whom died this week.

The fatalities brought Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll to 14.

Fifty-five more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Manitoba as of Saturday morning, more than half of which are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, the release says.

The update brings Manitoba’s total active cases to 444, the release says.

31 new cases in Manitoba’s southwest

Thirty-one of the new cases are in the Prairie Mountain Health region. The area still has more than half of Manitoba’s active COVID-19 cases, with 235 on Saturday, the province’s online data portal says.

Nineteen are in the Winnipeg health region, while five are in the Southern Health region, the release says.

Investigations suggest 19 of the new cases are close contacts of previously announced cases, it says.

To date, 1,151 cases of the illness have been identified in the province, and 693 people have recovered.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate, a rolling average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive, is now 2.6 per cent, the release says. That represents a slight increase from the rate of 2.3 recorded on Friday.

The province says numbers on coronavirus-linked hospitalizations, including the number of people in intensive care, will not be updated again until Sunday because of upgrades being made to its data system this weekend.

As of Friday, five people with the illness were in hospital, with one of those in intensive care.

New mask rules, public health orders

As of Saturday, face masks are mandatory for people riding Winnipeg Transit buses, those using Winnipeg Transit Plus, and those going into city spaces, including libraries and community centres.

New public health orders came into effect on Friday, which allow the province to immediately fine people $486 every day for not properly self-isolating. That change came because some people weren’t following the rules, said Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

On Friday, 1,293 more COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, bringing the total number done since early February to 133,378, the release says.

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