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Manitoba records 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 293 new cases

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba slightly declining, but positivity rate remains high' Coronavirus: Cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba slightly declining, but positivity rate remains high
New cases of COVID-19 are on a slight decline in Manitoba. However the test positivity rate remains high. And the province's top doctor is reiterating this is no time to let our guard down. Malika Karim reports. – Dec 10, 2020

Manitoba health officials say 293 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified across the province Thursday, and 13 more Manitobans with the virus have died.

The new cases bring the province’s total reported since March to 19,947, and the province’s death toll now sits at 451.

Read more: Province’s first COVID-19 doses will immunize 900 Manitobans: Premier

The new deaths include:

  • a man in his 70s from the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • a woman in her 70s from the Southern Heath health region, linked to the outbreak at Villa Youville personal care home;
  • a man in his 70s from the Southern Heath health region;
  • a man in his 70s from Winnipeg;
  • a woman in her 80s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Charleswood Care Centre;
  • a woman in her 80s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Charleswood Care Centre;
  • a man in his 80s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Charleswood Care Centre;
  • a man in his 80s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Charleswood Care Centre;
  • a woman in her 80s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Park Manor Care Home;
  • a man in his 80s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Park Manor Care Home;
  • a man in his 80s from Winnipeg;
  • a woman in her 90s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Charleswood Care Centre; and
  • a man in his 90s from Winnipeg, linked to the outbreak at Charleswood Care Centre.

The latest infections include 152 in the Winnipeg Health region, 49 cases in the Southern Health region, 12 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 41 cases in the Northern Health region, and 39 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

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The current five-day test positivity rate is 13.3 per cent provincially and 13.9 per cent in Winnipeg.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Roussin says there’s no risk of getting sick from COVID-19 vaccine' Coronavirus: Roussin says there’s no risk of getting sick from COVID-19 vaccine
Coronavirus: Roussin says there’s no risk of getting sick from COVID-19 vaccine – Dec 10, 2020

Hospitalizations have fallen to under 300 for the first time since Nov. 24, with 298 people in hospital, with 43 in intensive care.

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Provincial data shows 2,558 tests  for COVID-19 were done Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 380,664.

Provincial data shows there are currently 5,380 active cases of COVID-19 across the province, although that number may still be inflated due to an ongoing backlog in case and contact tracing, despites recent efforts to get caught up, Roussin has said.

Read more: Manitoba extends COVID-19 restrictions into January; drive-in gatherings allowed

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As outbreaks continue at personal care homes and health facilities across the province, health officials said a new outbreak has been declared Thursday at the Rehabilitation and Surgery unit at Boundary Trails Health Centre in Winkler.

On Wednesday Premier Brian Pallister announced 900 health-care workers will be the first in Manitoba to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after doses start to arrive in the province as early as next week.

The workers in four critical care units will be followed by other health-care staff, seniors and Indigenous people as more batches of the vaccine arrive.

Manitoba is still working out the logistics of how to distribute the vaccine, approved by Health Canada and developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.

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The province hopes to vaccinate more than 100,000 people by March, which is roughly seven per cent of the population. Clinics are planned for Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson and other communities.

Read more: Coronavirus pandemic contributed to rise in online child exploitation, Fintrac says

Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin said Wednesday well over 60 per cent of the population would need to get the vaccine to see some effect of herd immunity.

Health officials reported 279 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 18 deaths. The daily case count has started to drop since tight restrictions on public gatherings and business openings were introduced in November.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Manitoba to extend COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 8' Coronavirus: Manitoba to extend COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 8
Coronavirus: Manitoba to extend COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 8 – Dec 8, 2020

But Wednesday marked the second-highest number of deaths reported in a single day, after 19 fatalities were reported Saturday.

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The province announced earlier this week that most of the restrictions will continue into early January, including a ban on gatherings of more than five people.

With Chanukah starting Thursday and Christmas only a couple weeks away, Roussin reiterated calls for Manitobans to stay home and not gather in groups.

Read more: Rich nations, like Canada, have bought too many coronavirus vaccines: Amnesty International

“This holiday season we need to focus on avoiding gatherings outside of our household ,” Roussin said Thursday.

“I know that’s very difficult, it’s difficult at any time, but it’s especially difficult during the holiday season.

“But we need to not let our guard down this holiday season.”

–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.

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