We hope you are all well, and enjoying this lovely spring weather.
We wanted to share some new information related to COVID-19 asymptomatic surveillance. Evolving evidence on the transmission of COVID-19 suggests that infected people may spread the virus without having symptoms or just prior to developing symptoms. The extent of asymptomatic transmission is currently unknown. To help monitor for the presence of COVID-19 in Manitoba, nasopharyngeal swabs are now being collected from people who are asymptomatic (do not have symptoms of COVID-19). For our purposes, this means that:
- Any person who is admitted or re-admitted to Health & Transition Services (H&TS) who is asymptomatic will receive COVID-19 testing for screening purposes. A health care provider at H&TS will collect a nasopharyngeal swab (NP), clearly mark the lab requisition with “asymptomatic surveillance” and send it to the laboratory for testing.
- Asymptomatic new admissions/re-admissions are not considered COVID-19 suspect and do not need to be isolated; however, as a precaution, any new admissions/re-admissions will not mix and mingle with the general population for 14 days upon arrival to 440 River Road
- Respite stays are considered an admission, therefore, going forward, anyone coming for respite will also be required to not mix with the general population for the duration of their stay. This information is being shared with all of those families who receive respite service through H&TS.
- If a new admission becomes symptomatic they will need to be re-tested and at that time would be treated as suspect (Orange Zone) and would require droplet/contact precautions.
- Anyone who is asymptomatic but is transferred to a hospital will be tested for COVID-19 before they leave that facility.
- Anyone who is asymptomatic and admitted to a hospital will be tested for COVID-19 as part of public health surveillance.
On another note, we are carefully planning for some outdoor visits …stay tuned.
Your family members are being well cared for and are having lots of fun participating in virtual, small groups and 1:1 programming, taking virtual train trips, and visits to the zoo. We are getting our raised garden beds ready and are starting an “adopt a pot” program – more information to come. The Window Wishes and the virtual visits are something that your family members really look forward to. Here is one example of a lot of fun had by all:
We miss you. Take good care.
Joanne van Dyck
Senior Manager, Health & Transition Services