Manitoba advises cancellation of travel plans

Manitoba is reporting 20 positive cases of COVID-19 as of March 23.

A man in his 50s in Winnipeg is the latest positive test. Another probable case has now been ruled out. All cases in the province are related to travel.

Chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Manitobans should cancel or postpone any travel plans, including across provincial borders.

This doesn’t include commercial transport, health care workers who travel into and out of the province for work, or normal personal travel in border communities, Roussin said.

“Effective today and going forward public health officials are recommending anyone who returns from travel, including interprovincial travel, should self isolate for 14 days,” he said. “Now is not the time for non-essential travel outside of Manitoba.”

He reiterated what many officials have said during the pandemic response: this is not a suggestion.

“The risk to Manitobans is real. We are appealing to people’s civic duties.”

Manitoba’s HealthLinks phone line received 2,400 calls on Sunday with a wait time of about 33 minutes on average.

The online self-assessment tool was viewed 35,000 times Sunday and 240,000 times since it was launched March 17.

As well, officials reported that 4,100 people have visited community testing sites since March 12. Additional sites are to open in Interlake Eastern and Southern health regions.

People are reminded these are not walk-in clinics; call ahead for instructions.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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