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Manitoba seeing higher rates of COVID-19 in health care workers, younger people

Click to play video: 'Manitoba seeing higher rates of COVID-19 in health care workers' Manitoba seeing higher rates of COVID-19 in health care workers
Manitoba hospitals are struggling with staffing shortages, as more health-care workers test positive for COVID-19. But the province says it still has plans to ramp up intensive care capacity as needed. Marney Blunt reports. – Dec 30, 2021

Manitoba is reporting higher rates of COVID-19 among health-care workers and younger people as the highly contagious Omicron variant spreads rapidly across Canada.

Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa of Manitoba Shared Health says 418 health-care workers tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Read more: Manitoba COVID-19 cases climb to record 947, hospitalizations hit 183

She says that is about seven times the number of cases from the previous week.

The province is also reporting a 32 per cent increase in hospitalizations, with a “sizable number” of young people receiving care.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers: December 29' Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers: December 29
Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers: December 29 – Dec 29, 2021

Siragusa says 34 of the 190 COVID-19 patients in Manitoba hospitals are under the age of 40.

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The province is facing its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the third wave and expects further strain on its health system as cases continue to spike.

Read more: More KN95 masks being distributed to Manitoba liquor stores: province

Manitoba set a record for new daily cases Thursday, with 1,123 infections reported. It’s the third day in a row the province has set a record for daily cases.

Officials say there are now 8,418 known active COVID-19 cases across the province, but have also said that number is underreported due to a backlog in testing.

Click to play video: 'Wait times for booking COVID-19 test growing in Manitoba' Wait times for booking COVID-19 test growing in Manitoba
Wait times for booking COVID-19 test growing in Manitoba – Dec 23, 2021

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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