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This is the fourth part of an ongoing discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects within the community. This third discussion was started after the initial threads reached a length where it was becoming harder to browse and running slower than I’d like.
Part 1 can be read at: messagethread.aspx?startnum=1&message_id=1050008&cat_id=14 Part 2 at: https://ebrandon.ca/messagethread.aspx?startnum=1&message_id=1050629&cat_id=14 Part 3 at: https://ebrandon.ca/messagethread.aspx?startnum=1&message_id=1051802&cat_id=14
*********************** With COVID-19 having been declared a pandemic, we are starting seeing local impacts alongside efforts to limit the virus’ spread in the area. The first source for information are pages from the Manitoba and Canada governments and the World Health Organization: Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/coronavirus/ Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 We have an ongoing discussion focused strictly on facts and links to locally relevant developments that can be found at https://ebrandon.ca/messagethread.aspx?message_id=1049926&cat_id=3 As the state of the pandemic and response to it evolves there have been many questions or observations that folks have shown a want to discuss in that thread, which isnt intended for anything other than straight sharing of and linking to facts. This thread is the place for that discussion, with some important ground rules: -facts are king here, and published information from health authorities and medical professionals is taken seriously in that regard. This is neither the time nor place for folks looking to make their mark with conspiracy theories! -posts in this thread should not in any way, shape or form be seen as a substitute for medical advice. The best advice in response to questions is that which directs people to published facts from reputable sources or where most appropriate to those within our medical system who have the expertise to answer based on your own unique situation. -a suspected case by a poster should not be seen as a presumptive or actual case unless verified by proper medical personnel. Details on confirmed cases in the province can be found at the provincial link above. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in ensuring that we have constructive, facts-based discussion on this critical topic
The province is reporting one new COVID-19 case in Manitoba as well as one death in the Southern Health region. Prairie Mountain Health is now showing as having 19 cases (see below). From the release at the link below, note this section that is relevant to the Prairie Mountain Health region: "Public health officials are aware of a small cluster of five cases at a workplace in the Prairie Mountain Health region. Affected staff and their close contacts are self-isolating and public health officials are working with these patients to undertake detailed contact tracing. Officials are working co-operatively with the company to test other workers who may have been exposed and to implement sanitization protocols at the worksite. If public health officials believe there is an increased risk to the public, additional information will be provided." They have not identified the city or town of these cases though did say that it is not a health care-related workplace. In questioning afterword it was said that there is no concern from Public Health that the cluster of cases pose a risk to the public. The investigation has been dealth with at the site itself.
Today's full bulletin is at: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/?archive=&item=47897
That the business isn’t named. This isn’t a matter of secrecy for heavens sakes, how do any of us know if we’ve been to the place or been beside one of the sick workers. Manitoba has no right to hide information on health concerns about Covid-19
I've seen a little bit of hearsay on another website about what the affected business might be. It isn't my place to share possible misinformation but if it is the place in question, like Adam said, it doesn't really pose a risk to the general public. Edited by Millenial, 2020-05-05 20:43:24
Responses from Dr. Roussin to questions looking for further details on the company, industry or location trend towards that information will not be released unless its assessed that there is a risk to the public. If in the course of this or any other investigation there are people in the public that they believe may have been exposed that they can't reach then they would make further information available. Global News is however today reporting that the business involved with the cluster that is up now to seven cases is a trucking company: https://globalnews.ca/news/6910739/manitoba-health-officials-to-update-province-on-latest-coronavirus-numbers-wednesday/
I’ve received information via enough separate sources that I’m comfortable in knowing which business is effected. Thoughts first and foremost have to be with the employees and business that are having to endure what’s taking place. Health and family come first and it is certainly one’s right on a personal level to want privacy during this difficult time. I hope folks keep that in mind when pressuring for more information, even though it’s totally natural for people to want to know how their community is effected. If the business is what it looks like, I believe Public Health’s assessment re no risk to the general public. This is not somewhere that the average person comes and goes from and to. Over and above the workplace it will be important for contact tracing to assess as far as what interactions outside of the workplace may have been possible. I assume if there was anything obvious on the cases they've traced so far that we would already have heard about it, but no matter what I trust that any reasonable fair person will not place blame when it seems one can spread the virus without even knowing they have it. When the time is right I hope they will consider telling their story to a traditional media outlet that they can trust. I highly doubt this will be the last workplace effected by the pandemic but they have a real opportunity to play a role in the public being educated of just how serious the virus is and how easily it can spread. Thoughts again are with those directly effected.
In my opinion, getting relevant information to the public is a priority for government. This is Canada. What purpose does the secrecy serve? Or better yet, who is best served? Not the public.
The Brandon Sun is reporting details on the Prairie Mountain Health cluster, in Brandon associated with a trucking company:https://www.brandonsun.com/local/Trucking-firm-source-of-COVID-19-cluster-570253381.html
I would point out that the April 28 date that cases 2 and 3 were tested coincides with the day that the province announced opening up testing to anyone with symptoms. With that broadened testing availability it’s very possible that additional cases in this kind of situation can now be detected sooner. But it still brings out very real questions about the contact tracing process. Transparency builds and maintains trust. From what I can tell, tracing in these kinds of clusters is going to be an important part of life for the next 6-12+ months and so public understanding of the process is paramount. I think your average reasonable person understands that the folks doing it are doing their best within the bounds of confidentiality rules with a lot more understanding of the subject matter than the average person, but I can see a lot of benefit in an open dialogue with the public on what the process is, what lessons are being learned, how the process is being refined going forward along with success stories from tracing so far (as much as is reasonable within privacy bounds of course).
I find it interesting that people just “have to know” what company this has been happening at. Yet, minding their manners and doing what they are asked to while shopping is an issue. Most people in Brandon would have no connection whatsoever to the people or services this company offers, but it has become a quest to find out who it is. The voice of reason has died.
A well-stated editorial by Sun’s Matt Goerzen on how the confirmation of this cluster serves as a reminder that people in the community must continue to be vigilant: https://www.brandonsun.com/opinion/editorials/Cluster-shows-public-must-stay-vigilant-570265121.html
Thanks for that, some good information. So if the story is taken literally, the criteria of assuming communicability within two days of symptoms may have been why they wouldnt have tested for the other eventual cases on the date that the first case came back positive? The gas bar case being reported tonight seems to be another opportunity to learn (maybe more info will be released tomorrow). If I’m reading the link you posted correctly, they consider exposure of 10 minutes or longer and within 2m to be a close contact. Would be interesting to know whether or not a gas bar customer could potentially meet that definition, not that I’m thinking it would be possible to trace every customer that comes in to get/pay for gas anyway without putting out a public notice with dates and times?
A valuable read on scenarios for what the next 18-24 months might look like in the absence of a vaccine. Every region is going to have its own data points and make its own decisions on what’s best for its population but the story at the link really put into perspective how important the interplay between different levels of social distancing and the virus curve might be for quite a while... https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/health/coronavirus-pandemic-curve-scenarios.html
Here’s a story on the last extension of the border closure agreement. It’s up soon, will be more in the news this week about what’s next I’m sure. Just so we can keep this thread locally focused, Best to start a separate thread to go any further if there’s any grounds for more discussion: https://www.google.ca/amp/s/globalnews.ca/news/6836829/coronavirus-trudeau-april-18/amp/
We had some symptoms in our house that had worsened. Knowing there's been recent community transfer of COVID-19 in the region, despite limited exposures outside the home both the Mrs and I had some of the symptoms that are consistent with the virus and so decided to look further into testing since they are now testing any Manitoban with symptoms that meets their criteria and not just those who have traveled or work on front lines. First did the self-assessment online, then based on instructions from that result called Health Links on Monday mid-morning. Once Health Links assess that you meet testing criteria, in Prairie Mountain they pass your information along to someone within Prairie Mountain Health who is to call you back with more questions. If they determine you should be tested, they schedule a specific time to visit the Brandon drive-thru testing site (up to now the had not wanted people driving up spontaneously for testing. This changes tomorrow... please see the next post in this thread for details). Just shy of an hour after getting off the phone with Health Links, got the call from Prairie Mountain who asked some more questions to further assess need for testing where it was determined that both the wife and I should be tested. The offered from times in 5 minute intervals at the Brandon testing site, the soonest a little less than an hour away. Having a kiddo in the house and not wanting him to have to come along, we booked separate times... mine about an hour later and the Mrs' a couple hours after that. The testing site itself is well-laid out with signage at the entry of the Town Centre parkade directing you right where to drive. Staff were friendly and accommodating in getting me through to where they do the test. At the point where you do the test, you drive up, roll down your window and nurses do their thing with you right in the car seat. Test is the long q-tip-ish thing that most folks have probably seen in news stories. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was fun and that's the furthest I've had something shoved up my nose... but my experience at least was nowhere near as uncomfortable as I've seen some describe it. Maybe I was one of the lucky ones, but to me more of an uncomfortable tickle for a couple seconds than anything. That was it, then on my way.... somewhere in the neighbourhood of two hours between placing call to Health Links and test being done. In Jess' case after her test they instructed to go straight home without stopping for gas or groceries, with both of us to isolate at home until result gets in. If your result is positive they will call you with next instructions. If negative the result will show up in an account you setup with Shared Health's COVID-19 results website (or you can phone). Lo and behold the results for both of us were online already this morning, less than 48 hours after getting tested. Both negative. Even though negative, both of us are to stay isolated until 24 hours have passed without symptoms. Call it a relief that what's continued to get worse in me over the last day doesn't look to be Covid, but a little perplexed on what's going on with the throat. Will take next steps to have that assessed if it keeps being a problem!
I imagine this kind of testing is going to be more and more common over the next at least several months... it was encouraging to see that they appear to have a fairly well-oiled machine running that allows a chance to in a reasonable amount of time identify and rule out cases and provide the kinds of guidance and information needed as part of wider provincial strategy on combating the virus.
Edited by admin, 2020-05-13 13:31:19. Reason: Update re testing criteria
Important change announced at today's media briefing. Beginning tomorrow (Thursday), testing sites will be accepting self-referrals without the need for Health Links to first refer and book. They are asking that anyone with cold or flu symptoms (even mild) to first go to online screening tool. If meet testing criteria, you can go right to testing site to be tested. In Brandon that is the main level of the Town Centre parkade just inside the entrance and to the right (signage is on-site). Easy to get to and the test is very quick (see above post for an account from this week). Symptoms given as being test-worthy (even if mild) include: -fever -cough -sore throat -shortness of breath -runny nose -fatigue -headaches -skin rashes -nausea -loss of appetite. Testing is an important part of the Province's re-opening strategy going forward. Please consider getting tested if you have or develop these symptoms and otherwise if having symptoms the Province has asked that one stay home. The self-assessment tool is at: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/
Absolutely. Have seen comments from a couple folks on social media who don't yet understand that increased testing of symptoms now and going forward is vital to the ongoing response to the virus. If we have low case prevalence in Manitoba so far, lets prove it and give officials more to think about re cautious re-openings. If we don't, let's give the health system a chance to respond to isolated cases or any small clusters before they become the kinds of outbreaks that can inundate a health care system and cause us to take a step back.
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