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Manitoba reports 11 coronavirus deaths, 400 new cases Wednesday

Click to play video 'Manitoba mask fines' Manitoba mask fines
The province is taking further action to crack down on people who aren't following the rules and putting others at risk. New fines are coming to those who are caught not wearing a mask in indoor public places. Marney Blunt reports – Nov 18, 2020

Health officials say 11 more Manitobans have died from COVID-19, as 400 new cases were identified Wednesday and the number of people in hospitals with the virus continues to rise.

Provincial data shows 249 people are hospitalized — up nine from Tuesday’s numbers — and 40 people were in intensive care with the virus as of Wednesday.

Read more: Manitoba records youngest coronavirus death, 270 new cases

The latest deaths bring Manitoba’s total number of victims to 190 and the new cases bring the province’s total reported since March to 12,007.

“I think our message needs to remain clear, our numbers are going in the wrong direction, we cannot sustain these numbers in our health-care system,” said Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, at a press conference.

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Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Manitoba records youngest COVID-19 death, 270 new cases' Coronavirus: Manitoba records youngest COVID-19 death, 270 new cases
Coronavirus: Manitoba records youngest COVID-19 death, 270 new cases – Nov 17, 2020

“We need to bring these numbers down and our message on how to do that is clear, the answer is clear, and that’s to stay home.”

The press conference comes as the province continues to deal with ballooning daily case counts that threaten to overwhelm the health-care system.

 

In the last eight days alone, Manitoba has reported more than 3,100 new cases and 76 deaths.

Wednesday’s list of deaths include:

  • a woman in her 50s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region;
  • a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region;
  • a man in his 70s from the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • a man in his 70s from the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • a man in his 80s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region;
  • a man in his 80s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region;
  • a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Golden Links Lodge;
  • a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Golden Links Lodge;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Prairie Mountain Health region;
  • a man in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region; and
  • a woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Golden Links Lodge.

On Tuesday, the province added 270 new cases to Manitoba’s list of active infections — which hit 7,385 cases Wednesday — and reported seven additional deaths, including the province’s youngest victim, a woman in her 30s who, health officials said, did have underlying conditions.

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Wednesday’s new cases include 239 from the Winnipeg Health region, 93 in the Southern Health region, eight in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 40 from the Northern Health region, and 20 in the Interlake-Eastern-Health region.

Roussin said the province has added a specific fine for not wearing a mask in a public place, which is required under current public health orders.

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A fine of $298 for non-compliance around masks can now be handed out by enforcement officials, he said.

Read more: Manitoba hiring private security to help enforce coronavirus restrictions

Provincial fines already in place for individuals breaking other COVID-19 health orders are set at $1,296, while fines for businesses are $5,000.

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Meanwhile efforts to expand Manitoba’s health-care system to meet the influx of cases are ongoing, the province’s chief nursing officer said Wednesday.

Lanette Siragusa said three ICU beds have been added since the weekend, bringing the province’s total to 102.

But as of early Wednesday 88 of the beds were in use, and Siragusa said 50 per cent of the province’s ICU capacity is currently taken up by COVID-19 patients.

Of the 77 patients currently requiring ventilators in Manitoba, 38 are COVID-19 positive, Siragusa added.

Read more: 10 more COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba Sunday, 494 new cases

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She said staff that normally work in in-person surgery departments have been redeployed to help staff medicine units, while staff from operating rooms, recovery rooms, and pre-operative clinics have been moved to help out with critical care.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor says message on how to bring cases down is clear, ‘stay home’' Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor says message on how to bring cases down is clear, ‘stay home’
Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor says message on how to bring cases down is clear, ‘stay home’ – Nov 18, 2020

Siragusa said 771 elective and non-urgent surgeries have been cancelled since Oct. 26 to free up resources.

At briefings held every day this week, Roussin has warned more restrictions may be needed, and again on Wednesday criticized stores that are promoting big sales events despite his pleas for Manitobans to only leave their homes if absolutely necessary.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor implores people to stay home amid COVID-19 case surge' Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor implores people to stay home amid COVID-19 case surge
Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor implores people to stay home amid COVID-19 case surge – Nov 16, 2020

Last week, Roussin put the entire province under red on the province’s pandemic response scale, closing restaurants, bars, gyms, non-essential retail stores and other facilities.

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On Wednesday Roussin again said there is no reason for stores to advertise Black Friday sales for the traditional annual shopping splurge later this month.

Read more: Manitoba reports 10 additional coronavirus deaths, 392 new cases Monday

“Each time you leave your house, is it absolutely necessary? Or can it be accomplished another way or accomplished in a couple weeks from now,” Roussin said.

“People should only be leaving their home for essential reasons, and Black Friday sales are not included in that list.”

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Consumer frustration – Nov 18, 2020

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Meanwhile, deadly outbreaks have been declared at dozens of personal care homes and several hospitals across the province.

On Wednesday health officials said new outbreaks have been declared at the GA3, GH3, and GA4 units at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

Siragusa said in all 29 patients and 23 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and two deaths are linked to the outbreaks on the hospital’s three units.

Read more: Further restrictions possible as Manitoba businesses find ways to stay open amid lockdowns

Manitoba’s five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate rose to 14.2 per cent on Wednesday and the rate in Winnipeg specifically hit 13.8 per cent.

— 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.

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