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Manitoba reports death linked to COVID-19 variant for 3rd day in a row, 272 new cases

Manitoba reported 272 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths Wednesday. The Associated Press

Two more Manitobans with COVID-19 have died, and health officials say one of the victims had been infected with the B.1.1.7 variant of concern, first identified in the United Kingdom.

It’s the third day in a row a death has been linked to the more-contagious strain of the virus in Manitoba and comes as the province added 272 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.

Read more: Manitoba drops COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to 45, everyone 12 and up likely eligible by May 21: official

The province’s latest fatalities are a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s, both from the Winnipeg Health region. The woman’s death is linked to the B.1.1.7 variant, according to health officials.

The latest cases reported on the province’s online COVID-19 portal bring Manitoba’s total case count to 40,085 after one previous case was removed due to data correction.

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Since March 2020, 982 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died, including 12 linked to variants of concern.

The majority of the new infections identified as of Wednesday morning come from Winnipeg, where 182 cases were reported. Another 37 cases were reported in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 20 were found in both the Southern and Interlake-Eastern health regions, and 13 were identified in the Northern Health region.

Read more: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for Canadians 12 and over, Health Canada says

Manitoba currently has 2,780 active COVID-19 cases, according to health data, including 956 infections confirmed to be variants of concern.

The five-day test positivity rate is 8.8 per cent provincially and 9.2 per cent in Winnipeg.

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According to a provincial online database keeping track of variants of concern, 84 new variant cases have been confirmed as of Wednesday morning. They bring the total number of variant cases identified in Manitoba since February to 2,789.

Those cases include 1,822 B.1.1.7 infections, 15 cases of the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil, and 22 cases of the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa. Another 930 confirmed variant cases are listed as unspecified on the province’s website.

Meanwhile, the number of patients in hospital as a result of COVID-19 rose two over Tuesday’s numbers to 184, and the number patients requiring intensive care as a result of the virus was unchanged at 47, according to figures from the province.

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Read more: Why don’t children spread COVID-19 as much as adults? Manitoba experts weigh in

Laboratory testing numbers show 2,803 tests for COVID-19 were completed Tuesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 676,845.

Manitoba announced 291 new cases and one additional death from the virus Tuesday.

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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