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Manitoba reports another COVID-19 variant death, 251 new cases

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 case numbers remain high in Manitoba' COVID-19 case numbers remain high in Manitoba
Manitoba is continuing to see the number of daily COVID-19 cases rise. April saw a 110 per cent increase over March and experts warn, that upward trend appears to be continuing. Joe Scarpelli reports.

The death of another Manitoban with  COVID-19 has been linked to the B.1.1.7 strain first identified in the United Kingdom, and officials say 251 new cases of the virus have been identified across the province.

The virus’s latest victim is a man in his 50s from the Winnipeg health region. He is the 979th Manitoban with COVID-19 to die and his death is the 8th to be linked to a variant of concern.

Read more: 281 COVID-19 cases in Manitoba Sunday, 2 deaths

Chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, called on Manitobans to do their part to help stop rising case numbers across the province.

“If we look at March compared to April there’s a 110 per cent increase in cases,” Roussin said.

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Roussin said just over 4,800 new cases were reported in April, some 700 more infections than the province saw last October in the weeks before he ordered a strict, months-long lockdown.

“Right now we again see our numbers climbing, we’re seeing the increasing demands on our healthcare system, on the ICU,” he said.

“We need to reduce the number of contacts we have and the best way to do that is to stay home as much as possible.”

The new infections reported Monday include 184 cases in the Winnipeg Health region, 18 cases in the Southern Health region, 14 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 15 cases in the Northern Health region, and 20 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

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Since March 2020, the province has recorded 39,524 infections, after health officials said one previously announced case has been removed due to a data correction.

As of Monday morning, 2,593 of those cases are listed as active.

Read more: Manitoba opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Indigenous people over 18

As of Saturday Manitoba had reported 2,344 variant of concern cases, 978 of which were listed as active on a provincial website tracking the more-contagious strains that’s normally updated Tuesday through Saturday.

Hospitalization numbers rose from the 167 reported to be in hospital connected to COVID-19 on Sunday, to 178 as of Monday morning.

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The number of patients requiring intensive care also rose from 40 reported Sunday to 45 on Monday.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is eight per cent provincially and 8.7 per cent in Winnipeg.

Read more: COVID-19: 273 new cases in Manitoba Saturday, 2 additional deaths

Laboratory testing numbers show 2,898 tests for COVID-19 were completed Sunday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 39,524.

Manitoba has seen rising daily case counts and increasing numbers of people in intensive care in recent weeks.

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On Friday, Manitoba’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Jazz Atwal, said the province’s seven-day average for case numbers has been rising 33 per cent per week.

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New restrictions were imposed April 28 on household visits, religious services and other gatherings.

Read more: Winnipeg doctor will be ‘surprised’ if new restrictions aren’t implemented soon

Earlier Monday, health officials expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Indigenous adults in the province.

The move means all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples over the age of 18 can book an appointment for the shot starting at 11:45 a.m. Monday.

Health officials announced four deaths connected to COVID-19 and 554 new cases over the weekend.

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.

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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, visit our coronavirus page.

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