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8 more deaths brings Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll to 75

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Manitoba public health officials confirm eight additional deaths due to COVID-19 are being reported this weekend.

Read more: Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation beginning 2-week lockdown to control COVID-19

The first two reported Sunday are both from the Winnipeg region. The first is a man in his 60s and the second is a man in his 80s.

The other six reported Sunday afternoon are:

  • Two women in their 80s from the Winnipeg health region, related to an outbreak at Maples Long Term Care Home
  • A woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region, related to an outbreak at Maples Long Term Care Home
  • A man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region, related to an outbreak at Maples Long Term Care Home
  • A man in his 50s from the Steinbach district in Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
  • A man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region, related to an outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital

The province says updated information announced late Saturday about the death of a man from the Winnipeg region in his 80s indicates the case was related to an outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital.

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The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 8.9 per cent and 312 new cases of the virus have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., which brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba to 6,034.

The test positivity rate in Winnipeg is 9.9 per cent.

The province says this number is less reliable due to the smaller sample size.

  • 25 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region
  • 16 cases in the Northern health region
  • Seven cases in the Prairie Mountain health region
  • 26 cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
  • 238 cases in the Winnipeg health region

The data also shows there are 3,255 active cases and that 2,704 people have recovered from COVID-19.

There are 120 people in hospital, 18 of whom are in intensive care.

The province says as of Sunday morning, there continues to be ICU capacity in Manitoba and the province is working on adding more ICU capacity if needed.

Laboratory testing numbers show 3,697 tests were completed Saturday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 259,752.

Read more: Manitoba sees 349 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths on Halloween

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Public health officials have advised the Women’s Correctional Centre in Headingley is being moved to critical red on the Pandemic Response System.

An outbreak has been declared and visitor restrictions are in place.

Winnipeg under code red

Starting Monday, Winnipeg will move to critical level (red) on the Pandemic Response System.

In Winnipeg, the move means bars and restaurants will close except for take-out and delivery and most retail stores will be limited to 25 per cent capacity. Sports and recreation programming will be suspended and gyms and fitness centres will have to cut capacity to 25 per cent.

Masks will now be mandatory — even when exercising — at Winnipeg gyms and fitness centres.

Movie theatres and concert halls will be closed, while faith-based gatherings are reduced to 15 per cent, or 100 people, whichever is lower.

What the province calls “personal services” will see no changes and stay at 50 per cent capacity.

Non-urgent and elective surgeries and diagnostics will be suspended, but chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said some essential and time-sensitive surgeries — including cancer, cardiac and trauma —  will go ahead. He said patients will be contacted directly.

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Hospital visits have also been suspended, with some exceptions possible for patients receiving end-of-life care, in labour and delivery, as well as in pediatrics.

Level orange restrictions

Starting Monday the Southern Health, Prairie Mountain Health, and Interlake-Eastern health region will move to the restricted, or orange, level on the pandemic response system, joining the Northern Health region, which has had the order in place for the last couple of weeks.

The restrictions will see public and private group gathering sizes limited to five people, in addition to those already in a household.

Restaurants and bars will have capacity capped at 50 per cent and group sizes will be limited to five. The capacity in retail outlets will also be cut to 50 per cent and the province is encouraging limiting the number of people who go shopping from each household.

Personal services will have no change and stay at 50 per cent capacity, while sports and recreation facilities will be limited to 25 per cent capacity.

Gyms and fitness centres will require contact information for all attendees and masks will be required at all times, except when exercising.

Faith-based gatherings will be cut to 20 per cent or 250 people, whichever is lower.

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There will also be blended learning for Grades 9 to 12, and voluntary blended learning temporarily available for Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The restrictions in Winnipeg and across the province are to be in place for at least two weeks and will be reassessed at that time, Roussin said.

With files from Shane Gibson