Health officials say eight new cases of the B.1.351 COVID-19 variant, first discovered in South Africa, and another five case of the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom, have been confirmed in Manitoba.
In a release Tuesday the province said all 13 of the newly-identified cases of the variants of concern are from the Winnipeg Health region.
While the release says most of the variant cases were found through retroactive screening dating back to February, the province didn’t say exactly when the cases were identified, whether or not the patients have recovered, or provide details on how many contacts those infected may have had.
As for where or how the infections had been acquired, the provincial release only says the majority were either travel or close contact related.
“At this time, there is no evidence of widespread community transmission of either variant of concern,” the release reads.
“Case investigations continue and the public will be informed should the risk profile change.”
Manitoba has now recorded 22 cases of the two variants of concern, including 11 of the UK variant and 11 of the South African variant.
The province originally said Tuesday there has been eight cases of the UK variant and 14 cases of the South African variant but later sent out a correction.
Health officials also announced the death of another Manitoban with COVID-19 Tuesday and said another 66 cases of the virus have been identified.
The latest victim is a woman in her 70s from the Winnipeg Health region.
The province’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 907 after health officials say a previously-reported death has been removed from the list due to a data correction.
Data corrections have also led to four cases being removed from the province’s list of COVID-19 cases reported since last March, leaving that number at 32,350 as of Tuesday morning, according to provincial data.
The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 3.8 per cent provincially and 2.7 per cent in Winnipeg.
Of the new cases, 36 are from the Northern health region, 19 are from the Winnipeg health region, seven were reported in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region, and four were found in the Interlake–Eastern health region.
No new cases were reported in the Prairie Mountain Health region Tuesday.
Provincial data shows there are 1,153 active cases and 30,290 people who have recovered from COVID-19.
There are now 163 people in hospital as a result of novel coronavirus and 22 patients in ICU connected to the virus, according to the province.
Meanwhile an outbreak at Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg has been declared over, health officials said.
Laboratory testing numbers show 1,235 tests were completed Monday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since last February 2020 to 539,998.
On Monday Manitoba reported one death connected to COVID-19 and 63 new cases.
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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