Manitoba reported its highest one day jump in COVID-19 cases since December and four additional deaths Thursday.
The 363 new cases mark the first time the province has seen a daily case count over 300 since early January, and is the highest one-day jump in cases since mid-December, when the province was under a strict lockdown meant to protect an overloaded health-care system.
The numbers are also similar to health data the province reported Nov. 10, 2020, the same day Manitoba’s chief public health officer announced he would be putting the province under what would end up being a months-long lockdown.
Numbers from that day show 384 new cases were reported along with five deaths. There were 207 hospitalizations reported with 30 people in intensive care, and the five-day test positivity rate was 10.6 provincially and 10 in Winnipeg.
The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 9.1 per cent provincially and 10.4 per cent in Winnipeg, according to provincial data.
On Nov. 10, 2020 Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll stood at 114. On Thursday that number had climbed to 986, including 16 deaths linked to variants of concern.
3 more variant deaths
The province says all but one of the four deaths reported Thursday are linked to the B.1.1.7 variant of concern, first identified in the United Kingdom.
It’s the fourth straight day the province has reported at least one death linked to the more-contagious strain of the virus.
The latest victims include a man and woman in their 50s from the Prairie Mountain Health region, a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg Health region, and a woman in her 70s, also from the Winnipeg area.
Both Winnipeg victims and the man from the Prairie Mountain Health region had been stricken by the B.1.17 variant, which has been rapidly spreading in Manitoba and health officials have warned has become most prominent strain of the virus in the province.
The province also announced 214 new variant of concern cases Thursday, bringing the total number of variants reported in Manitoba to 3,003.
Of those, just shy of a third — 1,025 cases — remain active, according to provincial data, including 512 active B.1.1.7 cases.
Since the first variant was found in Manitoba in February, the province has recorded 1,897 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 1,067 variant cases are listed as unspecified on a provincial database keeping track of the strains.
The latest COVID-19 cases reported Thursday include 263 cases in the Winnipeg Health region, 23 cases in the Southern Health region, 28 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 34 cases in the Northern Health region, and 15 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.
They bring Manitoba’s total number of infections reported since March 2020 to 40,442, after six previous cases were removed due to data corrections.
There are currently 2,732 active cases of COVID-19 across the province, health officials say.
The province declared a new outbreak Thursday at at Lakeshore General Hospital in Ashern.
Laboratory testing numbers show 3,947 COVID-19 tests were completed Wednesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 681,038.
Manitoba announced 272 new cases and two additional deaths from the virus on Wednesday.
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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