Nearly one week ago paramedics wearing protective masks removed a woman by stretcher from a plane in Winnipeg. Fear that the virus had come to Winnipeg permeated social media, despite health officials and the premier saying there have been no laboratory confirmed cases of the virus in Manitoba.
As of Tuesday, officials said there were still no cases of the virus in the province, and the risk to Manitobans remains low.
Cameron Friesen, Manitoba’s minister of health, seniors and active living, said the incident on the airplane should serve as an example of how important it is to have good information.
"I think what last week's incident on that plane showed us, is that we have to go back to authoritative places to take our information from," Friesen said. "Go to places and news sources that they trust to get information, and don't believe everything that you see on Twitter."
As of Tuesday afternoon in Canada there had been a total of 33 people infected by the virus.
Friesen said he knows Manitobans are "jittery" right now, on edge due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases announced across the country.
He said the coordination effort in Manitoba is "significant" with a number of procedures in place across the province to deal with the virus, depending on the level of threat.
"We're in this together, as a province, as a population," Friesen said. "So the steps that we are taking prudently to get ready are appropriate, but right now there is no need to panic, there is no need to stockpile food."
As for what people should be doing to avoid the virus – Friesen said to continue to wash your hands, use proper protocol when sneezing and stay home if you are sick.