Manitoba has its first presumptive case of COVID-19.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen confirmed the news Thursday morning in Winnipeg. He says initial tests have been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for further analysis which will take about 24 hours to complete.
While he couldn't share many details about the patient, Friesen confirmed it is a woman in her 40's from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority who recently travelled through the Philippines.
"I can report that the individual is at home in isolation and in stable condition," said Friesen.
The Minister added medical providers involved observed proper protocol and took necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved including the patient, staff and other patients. As well, he says all public health protocol related to contract-tracing are being observed.
"I want to remind all Manitobans today that while COVID-19 is on the move and rapidly progressing...Manitobans should know that the mast majority of people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild-to-moderate symptoms and they will recover," said Friesen.
"I would also remind Manitobans that there are things that they can do to protect themselves and the people around them - their loved ones, their co-workers, the people at their school, the people in their community and the people at the shopping centre," he added. This includes simple things that government has been re-enforcing already, including frequent hand washing, declining to shake hands, and staying home when sick.
The Province says starting March 12, individuals in Winnipeg directed by Health Links–Info Sante to be tested for COVID-19 will be asked to visit a community screening location. The first two community screening locations will open that same day at Access Winnipeg West (at 280 Booth Dr.) and Access Fort Garry (135 Plaza Dr.).
People living outside Winnipeg who are concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 are instructed to call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) for further information.
"We're co-managing in Manitoba through an incident management structure to ensure coordinating of planning, preparation, mitigation and response," said Friesen. "We are also in constant contact with our special advisory council, our hospitals, our clinics and access centres."
The Health Minister adds the partnerships continue outside of Manitoba's jurisdiction, adding the Province continues to work alongside the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as other provincial/territorial, national and global partners. Friesen notes outreach also extends to municipal leaders, and Indigenous and Metis leadership.
"We are all in this together and we have the ability, through things that we are already doing, to slow down the spread," said Friesen.
Meantime, the Province of Manitoba approved $35.2 million dollars in special funding to provide for personal protective equipment designated for hospitals and frontline care workers.