COVID-19 outbreak declared at Manitoba church

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at a church in Sarto, Man., involving 10 confirmed cases and two people in the hospital.

The province made the announcement in its COVID-19 update on March 12, identifying the church as St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The church has been moved to the critical or red level on Manitoba’s pandemic response system.

The province said that anyone who went to any event at or in relation to the church on Feb. 21 should go for testing if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, said this isn’t a reflection of the hard work that people are putting in to keep their patrons safe.

“It’s a reflection on a highly communicable virus,” he said.

“We know where people gather, especially for prolonged times, we’re going to see outbreaks and clusters.”

He said the last two outbreaks the province reported at faith-based organizations are connected to each other.

Earlier in the week, CTV News Winnipeg reported a potential COVID-19 exposure on March 4 at St. Andrews Ukrainian Church in Winnipeg.

– With files from CTV’s Charles Lefebvre.

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