The province reported its first lab-confirmed case of the strain Tuesday, in a Manitoban who had recently travelled to one of 10 African countries the federal government has placed restrictions on because of the variant.
In a release Wednesday health officials said one of the four new Omicron cases was found in another Manitoban who had travelled to one of the 10 countries. The other three cases are close contacts to that infected traveler who are currently asymptomatic, the province said.
The province hasn’t said where in Manitoba the latest cases were found or when the individuals tested positive. No information has been provided about the age or gender of those infected.
The latest Omicron cases are among 178 new coronavirus infections reported Wednesday along with three additional deaths linked to the virus.
The city of Winnipeg’s five-day test positivity rate is 4.4 per cent.
Since March 2020 1,341 Manitobans with COVID-19 have now died. The latest victims reported over the last two days include:
- a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region (reported Tuesday);
- a woman in her 90s from the Southern health region, linked to an outbreak at Third Crossing Manor (reported Tuesday);
- a man in his 70s from the Southern health region (reported Tuesday);
- a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region (reported Tuesday);
- a man in his 90s from the Southern health region linked to an outbreak at Salem Home personal care home (reported Wednesday);
- a man in his 40s from the Southern health region (reported Wednesday); and
- a woman in her 100s from the Winnipeg health region (reported Wednesday)
Southern Health region saw the largest one-day jump in new cases Wednesday, with 89 infections reported.
Another 49 cases were reported in the Winnipeg Health region, 16 were found in the Prairie Mountain Health region, eight were reported in the Northern Health region and 16 were found in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.
Health data shows 96 of Manitoba’s latest infections are among people who had yet to be vaccinated, 11 were partially vaccinated and 71 were fully vaccinated.
The province says 2,875 lab tests for COVID-19 were completed in Manitoba Tuesday, when health officials announced 93 new cases and four additional deaths.
As of Wednesday morning, health official said 153 Manitobans are hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 34 patients are in ICUs as a result of the virus.
At a Wednesday press conference Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief public health officer said COVID-19 numbers are plateauing but are expected to rise slightly in the coming weeks.
The province is looking at delaying more surgeries to free up staff for COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, Shared Health said Wednesday.
There were 98 people in intensive care beds — including non-COVID-19 patients — as of Wednesday morning, which is 26 more than Manitoba’s capacity before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, health officials announced several new outbreaks across the province Wednesday, including:
- Lions Prairie Manor personal care home, Skyview unit, in Portage la Prairie;
- Misericordia Health Centre, Transitional Care Unit (TCU) C5, in Winnipeg;
- J. R. Reid School, Grade 4 class;
- Benito Personal Care Home.
All four facilities have been moved to red, or critical, on the province’s pandemic response system.
— with files from The Canadian Press
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.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.