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IERHA Covid-19 Community Update

Posted: 3/18/2020



COVID-19 Community Update - March 18, 2020

COVID-19 First Community Testing Site to Open Today 


PLEASE connect your emergency measures operations staff/representatives in your community with this information.


If you have emergency measures staff/representatives, please share your their emails with us so we can include them in this information distribution moving forward. Email addresses can go to with a request to be added to our community update email distribution.


Please feel free to share this information with your community members.



Incident Command Continues Daily at IERHA

Interlake-Eastern RHA's senior leadership team and leaders from program areas continue to meet on a daily basis to plan, respond to challenges and prepare for COVID-19 as it continues to unroll across the province. In addition, regional leaders are participating in provincial calls on a daily basis and the information from these calls is informing our incident command.



Once Source of Truth

IERHA is relying extensively on information provided by Shared Health and the Province of Manitoba. For daily news updates, please watch these media briefings as we do for the latest information in Manitoba.

Our "sources of truth" are the spokespeople from the Province. Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, who appears daily with reminders and updates on new directions and Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead for health system integration and quality and chief nursing officer with Shared Health. Interlake-Eastern will not be able to provide any more or any new information to you as we are receiving our information and guidance from the province. By staying attuned to these sources of truth you too will have the information that we have that we are using to inform our response to COVID-19. If you call us looking for information we will be directing you back to these sources of truth.



NEW Self-screening tool now available online

Please click here to visit a NEW self-screening tool that walks you through questions to help determine if you need to call Health Links - Info Sante. You access it online at


Widely promoting this online tool to members of the public with questions will help reduce the draw on resources at Health Links - Info Sante. Please share this link with your community members using all available means.



Interlake-Eastern RHA's first COVID-19 community testing site opens the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18

Interlake-Eastern RHA is opening its first drive-through COVID-19 community screening/testing site in Selkirk. It will open the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18 and then adhere to the following hours:


COVID-19 Community Screening Site

622 Superior Avenue, Selkirk

Open 9 to 4 daily





Screening and testing at this site is ONLY for:

  • individuals experiencing upper respiratory cold or flu like symptoms (cough, fever, runny nose, headache, sore throat, weakness) AND
  • who have traveled internationally in the past 14 days before onset of symptoms OR
  • those who have these symptoms and have had direct contact with individuals who have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 within 14 days before onset of illness OR
  • have these symptoms and have been exposed to laboratory samples known to contain COVID-19

NOTE: this screening criteria may change in the future so please watch for updates soyou can advise your residents.


The staff at these sites will screen for individuals who specifically meet these criteria and will not administer testing if criteria are not met. There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 tests and limited resources to determine test results. Health care staff are being directed to test only people who meet the criteria outlined above.


The criteria for testing may change in the days ahead and we will advise you of any updates to share with your community members.


What does "drive through" mean?

People with symptoms will be expected to remain in their cars unless directed otherwise. Testing typically requires a swab of the inside of the nose - this is a test that can be administered by a health care provider while an individual remains seated in their car.


Additional drive through community testing sites coming soon!

We are also planing for drive through screening sites in Pine Falls and Eriksdale that we anticipate will be operational by next week. More information will be provided as details are confirmed.



We are adopting restricted access to our hospitals and juxtaposed personal care homes

To better control the flow of traffic into our hospitals (and clinics and personal care homes where they are attached to a hospital), we are implementing single point of access for the public and we will have people screening at entrances to ensure anyone entering is not ill or meeting any of the criteria for exposure to COVID-19. This means that you and your residents will be required to answer some questions upon arrival at any of our hospitals.


You can expect to be screened if you are a:

  • visitor
  • out-patient
  • non-RHA courier
  • community transport driver
  • dialysis patient
  • cancer patient
  • volunteer


Hospital access points Please share with your residents so they can park appropriately


Ashern                ED door and also the clinic door until 4:30 p.m.


Arborg                 ED door


Beausejour        ED door


Eriksdale             ED door (same as main entrance)


Gimli                   Main door & ED door. But, after 4:00 p.m. – only ED door


Pinawa                Main entrance


Pine Falls            ED door


Stonewall           ED door


Teulon                 Main entrance


Selkirk Regional Health Centre Main entrance and ED door


Protecting Personal Care Home Residents


As per provincial recommendations made the morning of March 17, we are discontinuing all visitation to our personal care homes except in exceptional circumstances. This is in recognition that the majority of people in our personal care home are considered a high risk for experiencing complications related to infection with the virus. High risk groups include those:

  • 60 years and older
  • living with chronic health conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart, renal or chronic lung conditions)
  • with weakened immune systems (e.g. cancer)


We appreciate you sharing this information and our rationale with your community members.



What are you doing to keep your seniors safe?


There are a number of seniors' residences and senior gathering places throughout the region that are not operated by or affiliated with the RHA. We appreciate your efforts as elected representatives and community members to ensure that these facilities are adopting, at the very least, social distancing measures that have been outlined by the Province of Manitoba:


Strategies for all Manitobans

  • Minimize prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two meters/ six feet) contact between other individuals in public,
  • Avoid greetings that involve touching such as handshakes,
  • Disinfect frequently used surfaces,
  • Follow public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus, and
  • Avoid travel, crowded places and events, especially if you are at higher risk
  • The province has recently announced cancellations of gatherings of more than 50 people. This will affect any larger planned resident/community meals in some of these facilities.



Have any hand sanitizer to spare?


Supplies of hand sanitizer are becoming limited across Canada. If your community has stocked up with a hand sanitizer that contains 70% or more alcohol and if you have unopened bottles, we would be interested in knowing about it.



Information on individuals who test positive for COVID-19 in Interlake-Eastern RHA


Local media have been told that the woman who tested positive for COVID-19 in the Interlake-Eastern RHA is an Interlake resident in her 70s who recently returned home from international travel. She self-isolated upon return and entered the emergency department wearing a mask. IERHA will not be releasing any more information than what is released provincially on people who test positive for COVID-19. Public health nurses are connecting directly with people who test positive for COVID-19 to identify contacts who need further direction. Anyone who is considered a contact of concern will have direct contact with a public health nurse. 



Interlake-Eastern RHA is advising all residents to protect themselves by adopting these simple but highly effective measures:


Good hand hygiene provides significant protection from viral respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19.


People are encouraged to take common prevention measures, including regular handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. Make sure to dry your hands thoroughly. You can also use an alcohol-based hand cleanser if your hands are not visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean your hands:

  • after coughing or sneezing
  • when caring for a sick person
  • before, during and after you prepare food
  • before eating
  • after toilet use
  • when hands are visibly dirty


You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.


Avoid close contact (within two metres or six feet) with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing. Children and adolescents should avoid sharing food or drinks (e.g. sippy cups and water bottles), musical instruments or other things that have been in a person’s mouth or hands.



Please contact Lita Savage-Murray, Communications Associate at 204-785-4765 or email


Links to accurate and official information


Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) reminds residents to stay vigilant and regularly review information posted on the following websites:


Manitoba Government



Novel Coronavirus ( COVID-19) public health factsheet - also includes information on self-monitoring.




Novel-Coronavirus ( COVID-19): Self Isolation public health fact sheet





Stay up to date:

Social Media - follow us!


Be sure to follow Interlake-Eastern RHA on social media:

Interlake-Eastern Health on Facebook and IERHA_MB on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest information.


In Good Health - our new eNewsletter for regional residents


This month, we're launching a NEW eNewsletter designed specifically for Interlake-Eastern residents. In Good Health delivers news and updates about health care in your community every month. The only way to get it in your inbox will be to subscribe so please click here to help us stay in touch. Please share this link in your social media channels so we can connect with your residents too: