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Manitoba reports 14 new coronavirus deaths, 344 new cases Friday

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Manitoba’s chief provincial health officer Dr. Brent Roussin explained Friday that during the second wave of the novel coronavirus, it has been difficult for officials to get people to “buy in” to important health restrictions that would stop the spread of the virus – Nov 27, 2020

Another 14 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and health officials say 344 new cases of the virus have been identified Friday.

The latest cases bring the province’s total number of cases to 15,632. The new deaths bring the province’s death toll to 280.

Read more: Manitoba sees 10 new coronavirus deaths, 383 new cases reported Thursday

The province set another record for hospitalizations Friday, with 322 reportedly in hospital with COVID-19, and 45 in ICU.

On Thursday the province said 307 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 46 in ICU.

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As of Friday the five-day test positivity rate was 14.5 per cent across Manitoba, according to provincial data.

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Friday’s new infections include 178 cases in the Winnipeg Health region, 65 cases in the Southern Health region, 13 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 73 cases in the Northern Health region, and 15 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

The latest deaths reported Friday include:

  • a male in his 50s from the Winnipeg health region;
  • a male in his 50s from the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • a male in his 70s from the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • a male in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region;
  • a male in his 70s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region;
  • a female in her 70s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at Parkview Place;
  • a female in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre;
  • a female in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre;
  • a female in her 90s from the Prairie Mountain Health region and linked to the Fairview Home outbreak;
  • a male in his 90s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region and linked to the outbreak at the Rest Haven Nursing Home;
  • a male in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the St. Norbert Personal Care Home outbreak;
  • a male in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Golden Links Lodge;
  • a male in his 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Golden Links Lodge; and
  • a female in her 100s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre.

Health officials say new outbreaks have been declared at the Misericordia Health Centre on its Transitional Care Unit C6 in Winnipeg, the Grace Hospital Unit 4 South in Winnipeg, and the Kin Place Personal Care Home in Oakbank.

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Previous outbreaks declared at Collège Louis-Riel, Collège Leo Remillard and the Convalescent Home all in Winnipeg have been declared over, the province said.

Daily new infections have averaged between 300 and 500 for the last few weeks. Roussin has for weeks been saying the pressures on the health-care system are unsustainable.

Provincewide public health orders came into effect on Nov. 12 closing indoor service for restaurants and bars and banning people from having guests over, except for a few exceptions. It also mandates mask use in all indoor public health areas.

Health officials have said the restrictions would last at least four weeks, leaving the possibility they could be loosened before the holiday season. But earlier this week Roussin cautioned that people should keep their holiday plans within their family unit.

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Read more: Yes, many COVID-19 patients have underlying conditions. But that shouldn’t be the focus, Dr. Roussin says

Provincial data showed Manitoba had 8,865 active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, but Roussin has said that number is inflated due to an ongoing backlog in contact tracing efforts.

Earlier in the day Friday the province announced plans to provide a wage top-up to people who work in group homes, homeless shelters and personal care homes.

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Families Minister Heather Stefanson says the $35-million wage support program is to provide an extra $5 an hour to about 20,000 front-line workers for two months.

Only workers making less than $25 an hour can apply.

Read more: Hundreds of City of Winnipeg employees face temporary layoffs under coronavirus closures

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Stefanson says the spread of COVID-19 infections in homeless shelters, group homes and other services is putting stress on front-line staff.

She says there are infections among workers and participants in 16 disability service agencies.

–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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