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Public health officials report Manitoba’s first confirmed COVID-19 variant death

A previously reported COVID-19 death has been linked to a variant of concern, Manitoba public health officials said Thursday.

The death, linked to the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the U.K., was a man in his 70s from Winnipeg who died in late March.

Health officials reported three additional COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba Thursday, all from the Winnipeg health region: a man in his 70s, a woman in her 80s and a woman in her 70s, the latter of which is linked to the outbreak at Holy Family Home.

A total of 137 new cases were reported, including 37 linked to the B.1.1.7 variant and three uncategorized cases.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 4.8 per cent provincially and 4.6 per cent in Winnipeg.

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Read more: Vaccine task force defends Manitoba plan as data shows just over half of province’s doses administered

Premier Brian Pallister received his first COVID-19 shot Thursday morning at the RBC Convention Centre and said it’s a relief to have been vaccinated, as an older person with asthma.

“I encourage everybody, as soon as it’s their turn, to get this vaccine,” he said.

“The sooner we can get the herd immunity thing going on, the sooner we can reduce our restrictions and get back to seeing our friends and our family more frequently.”

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