What are we concerned about, stigmatization or safety

Connecting the Dots

If you are wondering about COVID-19 cases that might be nearby, you are not alone. I have had citizens from Melita to Virden pointing out the need for more specific information. It's tricky, to say the least, to get close to that information from credible (official) sources.I have asked about where cases are active, making phone calls and sending emails through the correct channels.

I want to make it clear that I respect the work of Dr. Roussin and the many in our health industry! Their motto states information is key and there is a lot of info on websites, just not enough of the close to home details I need.

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While I would like to lessen the fear of COVID-19, I believe it is also important to know if someone within a community where you and I are likely to do business or have contacts has COVID-19 (positive test or symptoms).

Within Prairie Mountain Health region there are districts. It is less important to me that Swan Valley has an outbreak (although SV is in my region), than what is going on in the Winnipeg Health region, or in Brandon (same region different district) where I am even more likely to have contacts. In our own area, I feel we should know about positive cases.

Here’s the link to information about all of Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/cases.html

Under the heading: Maps of cases and data from different regions and health districts there are active links. Click on Prairie Mountain Health and you find a breakdown: Cases by District where, hovering over the graph, the tiny printing will tell of active cases, deaths and recovered cases.

It appears that the Souris River District has now three active cases, a recent increase of one case.

In the Unknown Area there are 15 active cases.

A PMH spokesperson said, “There are several reasons why a case might be designated as ‘unknown community area.’ This designation may be the result of an address entered in error. … The address cannot be determined due to the postal code being entered incorrectly or an old postal code was provided.”

He also said that “the cases might also still be under investigation leaving the community area to be determined or for an individual who does not have a fixed address.”

The RHA also says, “Providing more detailed locations can lead to stigma, especially in smaller communities.”  

I don't want to stigmatize anyone. I would personally feel terrible about being the one to bring the virus to my little community or to my bubble. No one wants to do that, but if it happens, people should know.

Rural people tend to feel insulated, but look at what has happened with the rapid spread in North Dakota (where we could be forgiven for thinking that almost nobody lives).

On Sept. 8, the state recorded 71 new cases of COVID-19. By Oct. 20, there were 1029 new cases (Manitoba has about 170 new cases daily this week). As one would expect, cities like Bismarck and Minot are experiencing high levels of infection but sparsely populated counties near the Canadian border are seeing dozens of active cases.

In Manitoba, find potential community transmission information at Flights and Events (confirmed cases) https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/flights.html#event

In Prairie Mountain Health, possible public exposures included Carberry, Brandon and Shoal Lake. That was over two weeks ago now.

Unfortunately, information is currently rumours. Can you blame businesses for imposing mask wearing? Distance and wash/sanitize. Be kind.

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