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14 more Manitobans fall to coronavirus, 277 new cases reported Wednesday

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Scrubs not on list of essential items, says Manitoba’s top doctor' Coronavirus: Scrubs not on list of essential items, says Manitoba’s top doctor
When asked by a reporter about scrubs for health-care workers not being available as “essential items” for purchase in the province, Manitoba's chief medical officer of health Dr. Brent Roussin replied on Wednesday saying while they’re not currently on the list of essential items to shop for in-store, scrubs could be obtained online or by curbside pick-up. Roussin added the list of essential items has already changed, and will change again as it’s reviewed – Dec 2, 2020

Manitoba health officials say another 14 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died, but the province’s daily case numbers fell for the second-straight day Wednesday.

Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, said 277 new cases of the virus had been identified across the province as of Wednesday morning.

Read more: Record number of coronavirus deaths reported in Manitoba, but case numbers slowly dropping

Health officials announced 283 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and said a record-setting 16 more Manitobans with the virus had died.

“We do see our numbers, again, stabilizing, (but) they’re stabilizing at a number we still can’t sustain,” Roussin said Wednesday.

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“We need to continue our hard work to bring these numbers down — we can’t rest at these numbers — even though we’ve seen some minor improvements.”

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Wednesday’s new cases bring Manitoba’s total COVID-19 cases reported since March to 17,384. The province’s death toll now sits at 342.

Read more: Manitoba sees another 11 coronavirus deaths, 343 new cases reported Monday

The latest deaths include:

  • a woman in her 40s from the Winnipeg health region;
  • a man in his 60s from the Southern health region;
  • a man  in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region;
  • a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region.
  • a man in his 70s from the Southern health region;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the St. Norbert Personal Care Home;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the Golden Links Lodge;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the St. Norbert Personal Care Home;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Southern health region;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region;
  • a woman in her 80s from the Southern health region, linked to the outbreak at Rest Haven Nursing Home;
  • a woman in her 90s from the Southern health region, linked to the outbreak at Rest Haven Nursing Home;
  • a woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home; and
  • a woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the  Charleswood Care Centre.

The new cases include 200 in the Winnipeg Health region, 24 cases in the Southern Health region, 10 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 28 cases in the Northern Health region, and 15 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

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It’s the second day in a row — and only the fourth time in three weeks — that Manitoba’s daily list of new cases has been below 300.

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Roussin said new outbreaks have been declared at Morris General Hospital in Morris, the Rosewood Lodge Personal Care Home in Stonewall and the Carpathia Children’s Centre Inc. in Winnipeg.

Read more: Grades 7-12 in Manitoba will move to remote learning after holiday break

The sites have been moved to red on the province’s pandemic response system.

Meanwhile Roussin said outbreaks at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in Dauphin and the Kekinan Centre Inc. in Winnipeg are over.

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Manitoba has been reporting hundreds of new cases and multiple deaths from COVID-19 in daily updates for weeks.

As of Wednesday, there were 351 people in hospital — up from 338 on Tuesday — with 51 people in intensive care due to COVID-19, up three from the day before.

The province’s chief nursing officer, Lanette Siragusa, said daily case numbers in the triple digits continue to threaten the province’s health-care system.

Read more: No investigation needed into coronavirus deaths at Maples LTC, Winnipeg police say

She said as of Wednesday the province’s ICUs are running at 147 per cent beyond their normal capacity because of the strain caused by COVID-19 patients.

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She said there are currently 44 COVID-19-positive patients on ventilators.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister warned Tuesday that Manitobans will likely have to deal with strict COVID-19 measures into the winter.

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He said some restrictions on public gatherings and business openings will likely have to continue beyond Friday of next week — when they’re set to expire — because daily case counts remain too high and intensive care capacity is close to the limit.

Roussin said Wednesday some restrictions will remain in place.

“Our health-care system is quite strained and December 11th is coming up quite quickly,” Roussin said.

Read more: Manitoba signs COVID-19 pay deal with nurses union to shift staff to priority areas

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“I can’t advise on the specifics, but we’re going to have some restrictions in place for the near future — for the foreseeable future — because we can’t sustain numbers like we’re seeing right now.”

The province is facing opposition to some of its restrictions. Springs Church in Winnipeg has been defying a ban on public gatherings by holding drive-in church services.

The government has promised to issue fines of $5,000 to the church and $1,296 to some individuals who attended.

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Coronavirus: Manitoba students in grades 7-12 to move to remote learning after holiday break – Dec 2, 2020

The church is asking a judge for an injunction against the government’s rules and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

“We have to ask ourselves why the government has deemed it unsafe for Manitobans to drive to their place of worship with their windows rolled up for the entirety of a service, and practice their faith,” a press release from the church said.

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The five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate was 13.2 per cent provincially and 14.5 per cent in Winnipeg as of Wednesday morning.

Read more: Grades 7-12 in Manitoba will move to remote learning after holiday break

There were 8,970 active cases of COVID-19 across Manitoba Wednesday, according to provincial data, but Roussin has said the number is likely inflated due to a backlog in case monitoring.

The province also announced plans Wednesday to require many students to stay home from school and learn remotely for two weeks after the holiday break in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.

From Jan. 4 to Jan. 15, students in grades 7 to 12 will have to learn remotely, except those with special needs. Students in kindergarten to Grade 6 will have the option of learning remotely or going to school.

–With files from The Canadian Press and Brittany Greenslade

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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.

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