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Manitoba sees 9 new COVID-19 cases Friday, health officials say 2 are in intensive care

Manitoba announced nine new COVID-19 cases Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Health officials reported nine new cases of the novel coronavirus in Manitoba Friday and said two patients are in intensive care with the virus.

The new cases include five people in southern Manitoba, two people in the east Interlake, one from the Prairie Mountain Health region, and one person in Winnipeg.

Read more: Manitoba reports 8 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, 7 tied to Hutterite colonies

There had been only one patient in intensive care Thursday.

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The new cases bring the province’s total number of lab-confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported since March to 384, and health officials say the five-day test positivity rate sits at 0.86 per cent.

Read more: Coronavirus: 12 new cases reported in Manitoba Tuesday

There are currently 58 known active cases and 319 are reported to have recovered from the virus.

The number of Manitobans who have died from COVID-19 remains at seven.

COVID-19 restrictions to loosen

Manitoba will further loosen COVID-19 restrictions Saturday, although the government is delaying some changes that had been planned, following public feedback from people worried about a potential spike in cases.

A proposal floated earlier this week to lift the 14-day self-isolation requirement for travellers arriving from Eastern Canada will not go ahead for now. A plan to increase limits on public gatherings — to 75 people from 50 indoors and to 250 from 100 outdoors — is also off the table for the time being.

Read more: Manitoba to go ahead with ‘adjusted’ Phase 4 opening amid COVID-19 Saturday

Other changes under the province’s so-called Phase 4 reopening, slated to start Saturday, are also being delayed or altered.

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Casinos, cinemas and theatres will be allowed to reopen Saturday as planned, but at 30 per cent capacity instead of 50.

Read more: Manitoba looks at starting Phase 4 reopening amid coronavirus as early as July 25

Religious services and powwows will continue to face a 30 per cent capacity limit instead of the proposed 50 per cent.

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Walk-up service at bars, distilleries and brew pubs, which was slated to start Saturday, will continue to be banned.

Changes to Winnipeg test sites

Health officials also announced some changes coming to Winnipeg testing sites Friday.

They say the site at St. James Assiniboia Centennial Pool on Parkdale Street will be closed as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

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Read more: Coronavirus: Record number of tests forces Winnipeg site to redirect patients

On Thursday a new testing site opened at ACCESS Fort Garry at 135 Plaza Drive in Winnipeg, and another new site is set to open at the former St. Vital Municipal Office and Hall at 604 St. Mary’s Rd. in Winnipeg Monday, July 27.

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The two new Winnipeg locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.

A full list of testing sites across Manitoba can be found at the province’s website.

Health officials said 1,640 tests for COVID-19 were done Thursday, bringing the total number of tests performed since early February to 81,186.

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–With files from The Canadian Press

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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