Another 10 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and health officials reported 383 new infections Thursday.
The latest cases bring the province’s total number of cases to 15,288 and 266 deaths from the virus have been reported since March.
Hospitalization rates continued to climb Thursday with 307 reported in hospital, up from the previous record-setting 300 reported Wednesday. Forty-six patients were reported to be in intensive care with COVID-19 Thursday.
At his daily media briefing Wednesday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, reported 349 new COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths.
The latest deaths reported Thursday include:
- a man in his 50s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region and linked to the outbreak at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre;
- a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region:
- a woman in her 70s from the Interlake–Eastern health region;
- a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Maples Long Term Care Home;
- a woman in her 80s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region and linked to the outbreak at Menno Home in Grunthal;
- a man in his 90s from Southern Health–Santé Sud health region and linked to the outbreak at Menno Home in Grunthal;
- a woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at Maples Long Term Care Home;
- a man in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Brightwater Senior Living of Tuxedo;
- a man in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region; and
- a man in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region.
Thursday’s list of new infections include 202 cases in the Winnipeg Health region, 111 cases in the Southern Health region, 15 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 29 cases in the Northern Health region, and 26 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.
The five-day test positivity rate was 14.8 per cent both in Winnipeg and across the province Thursday, according to Manitoba Health.
Roussin said a new outbreak has been declared at the Concordia Hospital unit N3 West in Winnipeg, meaning the site has been moved to red, or critical, on the province’s pandemic response system.
Meanwhile the province has temporarily closed the hospital in Grandview and transferred patients to nearby facilities in order to redeploy hospital staff to help deal with an ongoing outbreak at Grandview Personal Care Home.
A provincial spokesperson says the outbreak at the PCH in the community roughly 289 km northwest of Winnipeg has grown to 11 residents and one staff member.
“The personal care home in Grandview is besieged with cases,” Premier Brian Pallister said during question period.
The NDP Opposition criticized the move saying it is a step toward permanently closing the hospital.
Manitoba has implemented a series of increasingly tough restrictions over the last two months as COVID-19 numbers have spiked.
The most recent orders mandate mask use in all indoor public areas, require restaurants and bars to close except for takeout and delivery, and forbid people from having guests in their home, with some exceptions.
The public health orders also require that when someone has come into close contact with a known COVID-19 case, that person must self-isolate, even from other members of his or her household.
Since the latest province-wide restrictions kicked in on Nov. 12, Manitoba has reported 6,002 new cases of the virus, and 144 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died.
Roussin has been pleading with Manitobans to stay home during the latest lockdown, as cases continue to put a strain on the province’s health-care system.
“Self-isolation … is one of our best tools to minimize the transmission of this virus,” Roussin said Thursday.
While Manitoba continues to lead all other provinces in the per-capita rate of new infections, Roussin said Wednesday things could have been worse. The daily number of new cases has been relatively steady in recent days between 300 and 500.
“A few weeks ago, when we … decided to initiate the further restrictions, our projections were calling for up to 800 cases a day by Nov. 22,” he said.
“So we haven’t seen the climb that we expected … but we certainly need to get those numbers down quite quickly.”
The latest restrictions are scheduled to remain in place until at least Dec. 11, but on Thursday Roussin said the numbers will need to drop before anything changes.
Roussin cautioned that people should keep their holiday plans within their family unit, while continuing to discourage all non-essential travel, even within Manitoba.
He said bringing back interprovincial travel restrictions is not off the table as infections rise in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario.
“This is not going to be a normal holiday season,” Roussin said.
While provincial data showed Manitoba has 8,845 active cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, Roussin said the number is likely closer to 3,251 due to an ongoing backlog in contact tracing efforts.
Provincial data shows 1,509 tests for COVID-19 were completed Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 341,973.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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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