The most common places for COVID-19 transmission in Manitoba

WINNIPEG — New data out of the Manitoba government shows the province’s most common transmission and acquisition settings for COVID-19.

In Manitoba’s latest epidemiology and surveillance report, it shows the top five transmission settings for all cases from Jan. 24, 2021, to June 12, 2021, are:

  • Households: 61.5 per cent;
  • Social gatherings: 11.7 per cent
  • Workplaces: 10.3 per cent;
  • Transportation: 4.6 per cent; and
  • Schools: 3.5 per cent.

The province notes that the transmission setting is the place exposed during a case’s communicability period. This period takes place 48 hours before the development of overt symptoms until the case is no longer classified as infectious.

The report also lists the top five acquisition settings in cases with an unknown source of infection – about 25 per cent of the province’s cases don’t have a known source of infection. These settings include households at 29.1 per cent; workplaces at 16.8 per cent; retail at 10.9 per cent; social gatherings at 6.4 per cent; and schools at four per cent.

The province defines acquisition settings as places exposed during a case’s incubation period, which is 14 days before the symptom onset date.

As for Manitoba’s top five settings from Jan. 24, 2021, to June 12, 2021, where cases are linked to outbreaks, clusters, or special investigations, they include:

  • Workplaces: 36.9 per cent;
  • Industrial setting: 17.8 per cent;
  • Daycares: 9.5 per cent;
  • Schools: 8.7 per cent; and
  • Acute care settings: 7.6 per cent.

“We’ve had restrictions on a number of workplaces in many of the waves, and we’ve always had close workings with workplaces, Workplace Safety and Health,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, at a news conference on Monday.

“We’ve investigated outbreaks, we’ve investigated clusters, we’ve provided public health advice, so there’s a lot of work that has been done.”

He said there aren’t many places that transmission can occur right now due to the public health restrictions, other than settings like workplaces.

“So of course, the proportion of transmission will increase in those areas, because everything else is closed right now,” he said.

Roussin noted the types of workplaces seeing transmission are varied.

“We’ve seen it in factory settings, we’ve seen it in retail, we’ve seen it in hospitality areas,” he said.

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