Manitoba premier to join health officials at coronavirus update

Manitoba’s premier will join health officials at a live update on the province’s COVID-19 situation Friday.

Brian Pallister and chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin have scheduled a press conference for 12:30 p.m. Global News will stream the event live here.

Read more: Manitoba reports 2 more coronavirus deaths, 261 new cases Thursday

There was no word from the government on why Pallister plans to join Roussin for the media availability, one of three previously scheduled for the week.

Manitoba has been under strict public health orders since mid-November that have closed non-essential businesses, banned large outdoor gatherings, and prohibited Manitobans from getting outside their household, with few exceptions.

Click to play video 'Answering your COVID-19 questions, Jan. 14' Answering your COVID-19 questions, Jan. 14

Answering your COVID-19 questions, Jan. 14

The restrictions have been extended twice and the earliest they might be eased is Jan. 22.

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When the orders were extended again last week the province said it would hold public consultations to gather feedback from Manitobans on potential future changes to the orders, but so far no consultations have been announced.

Read more: Manitoba reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 5 additional deaths

Manitoba’s daily cases have been slowly dropping in recent weeks, and on Tuesday the province reported its lowest daily caseload since mid-October with 92 cases.

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But numbers rose again on Thursday when 261 new infections were reported, driven largely by a spike of cases in the north, where 139 cases were identified.

Since the start of the pandemic, Manitoba has reported 26,954 cases of COVID-19 and 755 Manitobans with the virus have died.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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