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Manitoba reports 4 more coronavirus deaths, 118 new cases

Click to play video 'Manitoba to begin booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments after Pfizer delay announcement' Manitoba to begin booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments after Pfizer delay announcement
Despite the delay, which will set Manitoba back by 28,000 doses over four weeks, health authorities say there's enough in reserve for another 4,000 individuals. Global's Brittany Greenslade brings us the latest vaccine-related developments – Jan 18, 2021

Another four Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and health officials are reporting 118 new infections across the province.

The latest cases announced on the province’s online COVID-19 portal Monday bring the province’s total number of cases reported since March to 27,629.

Read more: COVID-19 claims 8 more Manitobans, including man in his 30s

Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin says the province’s COVID-19 numbers are heading in the right direction, but any easing of restrictions on businesses and public gatherings will be done prudently.

“We’re going to start our reopening process. We need to do it in a continuous fashion, in a cautious fashion,” Roussin said Monday.

“We don’t want to have openings and then require closures again if our numbers get high, so we’re going to do so very cautiously.”

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The province’s current set of public health orders, which includes tight restrictions on non-essential store openings and public gatherings, expires Friday.

The government put up an online survey last week to ask people what rules they would like to see eased, and Roussin said he’ll outline some details Tuesday.

Monday’s list of COVID-19 victims include:

  • a man in his 80s from the Northern health region, linked to the outbreak at the Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home;
  • a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the Southeast Personal Care Home;
  • a woman in her 70s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the Concordia Place; and
  • a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at the Health Science Centre WRS3.

Since March, 773 Manitobans have died from COVID-19.

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The latest cases include 45 cases in the Winnipeg Health region, nine cases in the Southern Health region, seven cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 46 cases in the Northern Health region, and 11 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

As of Monday morning health officials said there are 135 people in hospital with active COVID-19 as well as 154 who are no longer infectious but continue to require care, for a total of 289 hospitalizations.

Read more: ‘Temporary delay’ chops Canada’s deliveries of Pfizer vaccine in half for four weeks

There are 23 people in intensive care units with active COVID-19 as well as 12 who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care for a total of 35 ICU patients.

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Provincial data also shows there are 3,108 active cases and 23,748 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.6 per cent provincially and 7.3 per cent in Winnipeg.

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Laboratory testing numbers show 1,322 tests were completed Sunday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 453,481.

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

Health officials say new outbreaks have been declared at Golden Door Geriatric Centre and Golden West Centennial Lodge in Winnipeg.

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Previously declared outbreaks at Heritage Lodge Personal Care Home and Calvary Place Personal Care Home, both in Winnipeg, have ended, the province says.

Over the weekend, health officials reported 10 additional COVID-19-related deaths and said another 369 Manitobans have fallen ill with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Pause on new vaccinations lifted

As the province opened its second vaccination “supersite” Monday at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, health officials said a pause on new vaccination appointments announced late last week has been lifted, for now.

In a tweet Friday, Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said a temporary delay in the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine to Canada was forcing Manitoba to put a pause on new appointments.

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

After looking through the numbers over the weekend, Reimer said Monday the province has determined it has enough vaccine to continue booking an additional 4,000 appointments.

Those doses will be given out this week and next week in Winnipeg and in Brandon, she said, adding new appointments can be made starting Tuesday.

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She had previously said appointments that had already been scheduled will still take place.

“Every Manitoba who already has an appointment to be immunized can keep that appointment, whether it’s for a first dose or a second dose,” she said Monday.

Read more: 10 tickets handed out at Steinbach anti-mask rally, more charges expected: RCMP

The federal government said Friday shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will be reduced by an average of 50 per cent over the next four weeks because the company is scaling up its European manufacturing capacity — a move that will impact the vaccine’s production for a “short period.”

Reimer says Manitoba is to receive about 28,000 fewer doses over the next four weeks.

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But she said the delay won’t affect the province’s plan to have all residents of personal care homes in Manitoba who want a shot vaccinated by early March.

She said health officials expect to have all first doses administered to qualifying personal care home residents by the end of January, roughly a week ahead of the province’s original timeline.

A third vaccination site will still open in Thompson on Feb. 1 as previously planned, Reimer said, but only on a temporary basis while the current vaccine supply allows for it. She said new vaccination appointments will not be made accepted for the Thompson site just yet.

Read more: Vaccine rollout in isolated First Nations a complicated process: Grand Chief

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As of Monday, Manitoba has received 46,290 doses of vaccine and has administered 17,751 of them.

The province sys 34,975 doses are scheduled to be used over the next 28 days.

More than half a million Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 thus far, and more than 822,000 doses of the two approved vaccines  have been delivered from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

–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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