Manitoba reports 3 COVID-19 deaths, 26 new cases

Click to play video: 'Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers – July 28' Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers – July 28
Manitoba's COVID-19 numbers for July 28 – Jul 28, 2021

Another three Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and health officials say 26 more people have been infected with the virus.

All three of Manitoba’s latest deaths are linked to more contagious variants of concern, the province said Wednesday.

Read more: Manitoba to scale back hours at COVID-19 vaccine super sites

Two women, one in her 50s from the Interlake-Eastern Health region and another in her 70s from the Northern Health region, had been stricken with the Alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, before their deaths, and the death of a man in his 80s from the Southern-Health region is linked to an unspecified variant strain.

Health officials say Manitoba currently has 497 active COVID-19 cases, and well over half — 304 infections — are variants of concern (VOC).

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Click to play video: 'Manitoba scaling back hours at COVID-19 vaccine super sites' Manitoba scaling back hours at COVID-19 vaccine super sites
Manitoba scaling back hours at COVID-19 vaccine super sites – Jul 28, 2021

A provincial site tracking variants shows the Alpha strain remains the most common known VOC, with 7,113 cases identified since February. But 8,525 variant cases are listed as unspecified.

The active variant cases include 176 that are as yet unspecified, 99 Alpha cases, 28 of the Delta strain, first identified in India, and one case linked to the Gamma variant, first detected in Brazil.

Read more: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine yet in Manitoba? How to book it and where to go

In all, Manitoba has reported 16,592 variant cases and 179 deaths have now been linked to the various strains.

The 26 new cases announced Wednesday include 15 infections in the Interlake-Eastern Health region, six cases in the Winnipeg Health region, three cases in the Southern Health region, and two in the Southern Health region.

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Health data shows 1,487 lab tests for COVID-19 were completed Tuesday and, as of Wednesday morning, the five-day test positivity rate is 2.5 per cent provincially and 1.3 per cent in Winnipeg.

As of Wednesday morning, 104 people were being treated in hospital as a result of COVID-19, health officials said, three fewer than were reported Tuesday.

Read more: Manitoba reports 23 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths

Of those currently in hospital, 30 are in ICU — an increase of three critical care patients compared to Tuesday’s numbers.

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Since March 2020, 57,502 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Manitoba and 1,175 deaths have been linked to the virus.

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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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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