Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer is praising the efforts of Prairie Mountain Health Region residents.

"Manitobans in Prairie Mountail Health really stepped in August until now to really flatten that curve and bring down those numbers," Dr. Brent Roussin says.

Starting Friday, Sept. 18, the Prairie Mountain Health region will be lowered to the COVID-19 caution level (yellow) in response to an improved situation in the region. Masks are strongly recommended but not required and public gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Public health officials continue to monitor all the regions with increased cases closely to determine if additional restrictions are necessary.

The region was elevated to Orange when there were 240 active cases in the region. Today that number is down to 38.

"What this shows is... we know how to deal with this virus," Roussin says. "We know what to do to limit those risks, but we need to stick to those fundamentals."

Public health officials advise the current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 1.7 per cent and 11 new cases of the virus have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the number of cases in Manitoba to 1,500.

The data shows:

-one case in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
-two cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud; and
-eight cases in the Winnipeg health region.


The data also shows:

-293 active cases and 1,191 individuals have recovered from COVID-19;
-there are 10 people in hospital and two people in intensive care; and
-the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 16.

Preliminary investigation indicates that none of today’s Winnipeg cases are linked to John Pritchard School. Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified.

Preliminary laboratory testing numbers show 1,403 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 160,109. As testing site locations may change in response to changes in testing volumes, Manitobans are reminded to refer to the list of current testing sites and hours of operation before leaving home. Information can be found online.

Public health officials strongly encourage all Manitobans to focus on the fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This means staying home if you are sick, washing/sanitizing your hands, covering your cough and physically distancing when you are with people outside your household.

If you cannot physically distance, wear a mask. Wearing a reusable non-medical mask does not protect the person wearing the mask, but may help protect the people around them. For a mask to be effective, it must be worn properly or it will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. Helpful guidance on wearing a mask can be found online.

Unless recommended by Public Health, only individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. Individuals with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present. Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials.