Public health officials have identified 36 new COVID-19 cases as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Manitoba, bringing the provincial total to 2,029.

According to data, 28 of the new cases are in the Winnipeg Health Region, 4 in Prairie Mountain Health Region, 2 in Interlake-Eastern and 2 in Southern Health-Sante Sud.

Meantime, officials are advising of a pair of possible exposures.

A second case was at Carberry Collegiate in Carberry on Monday, Sept. 21. Public health says no close contacts have been identified and the infection was not acquired at school.

As well, the public is being advised of possible exposures at Subway, 200 First Ave., Carberry on Sept. 26 from approximately 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to public health, there are 621 active cases in Manitoba with 1,388 individuals having recovered from COVID-19. The Province says 15 people are in hospital due to COVID-19 with 7 people in intensive care. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 is at 20.

The current 5-day test positivity rate in Manitoba is 2.1 per cent.

Provincial data shows 1,803 tests were completed Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 186,668. Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified.

Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, strongly encourages Manitobans to reduce the number of close contacts outside their household, and avoid closed-in or crowded spaces. In addition, they should focus on these fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

- Stay home if you are sick.
- Wash/sanitize your hands and cover your cough.
- Physically distance when you are with people outside your household.
- If you cannot physically distance, wear a mask to help reduce the risk to others or as required by public health orders.

Unless recommended by public health officials, only individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. Individuals with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present. Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials.

Meantime, the Health Canada COVID Alert app is now available to Manitoba residents and provides digital COVID-19 exposure alerts once the app is downloaded to a smartphone. It is available at no cost in the Apple and Google Play app stores.

As well, Manitobans are encouraged to continue seeking care for their medical needs including routine appointments and immunizations.

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 7 the requirement for non-medical masks in all Manitoba health facilities will extend to doctors offices and community service providers affiliated with Manitoba's health regions. The Province says anyone seeking treatment in or visiting a public health-care setting will be required to bring and wear a non-medical mask. Accommodations do exist for those who are not able to wear a mask for medical reasons.