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2 deaths, 180 COVID-19 cases announced in Manitoba Saturday

An Alberta health-care worker performs a COVID-19 test. Courtesy: Twitter/Alberta Health Services

Manitoba public health officials confirm two additional deaths in people with COVID-19 have been reported.

The deaths are a man in his 70s from Southern Health-Santé Sud and a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region.

Read more: Coronavirus: Manitoba business advocates propose ‘sweet spot’ reopening strategy

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.2 per cent provincially and 7 per cent in Winnipeg.

As of 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 180 new cases of the virus have been identified and the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba has risen to 27,322.

The new cases are in the following regions:

  • 10 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region
  • 69 cases in the Northern health region
  • eight cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region
  • 10 cases in the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region
  • 83 cases in the Winnipeg health region.

The data also shows there are 2,986 active cases and 23,575 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

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There are 122 people in hospital with active COVID-19 as well as 161 people in hospital with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require care, for a total of 283 hospitalizations.

Click to play video 'COVID-19 cases rising in the north' COVID-19 cases rising in the north
COVID-19 cases rising in the north – Jan 15, 2021

There are 19 people being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units, as well as 17 people with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care, for a total of 36 ICU patients.

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The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 761. Due to a data error, one death that had been reported earlier has been removed.

Laboratory testing numbers show 2,043 tests were completed Friday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 450,104.

Read more: Coronavirus: New vaccine appointments paused in Manitoba as Pfizer announces delay

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An outbreak has been declared at Lynn Lake Hospital in northwestern Manitoba. The site has been moved to Critical (red) on the Pandemic Response System.

The outbreak at Seven Oaks General Hospital, 4U4-7 in Winnipeg is now declared over.

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Coronavirus: Over half of Canadians think vaccine should be mandatory, Ipsos poll shows – Jan 16, 2021

Local epidemiologist Cynthia Carr says while it has been challenging to follow health restrictions, it has made a difference.

“These restrictions and the work we have done together really does matter on the serious of levels. working together we have saved almost 2,000 lives. It might have been 1,700, 1,800 or 1,600 but the reality is it mattered,” she said.

And while our numbers remain steady for now, there are still obstacles in certain regions — particularly the North.

Read more: Manitoba asks for feedback on COVID-19 restriction changes as 5 new deaths reported

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Carr says if the pandemic hasn’t ripped the issue of housing wide open in other areas, she doesn’t know what will.

“This is an ongoing challenge. When I go to a community and do community health assessments and I talk to leadership about health, they won’t say we need a fancy hospital, X-ray machines, etc., one of the first things will be the foundation of housing.”

She says infrastructure is absolutely related to health, and it hasn’t been attended to in our northern communities.

–With files from Anya Nazeravich