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COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations down in Manitoba

Manitoba's latest COVID-19 data shows hospitalization and deaths linked to the virus fell last week. File

Health officials in Manitoba say COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations related to the virus fell last week.

The province’s weekly epidemiology update, released Thursday and covering May 15 to 21, shows 122 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and six others with the virus died.

Read more: COVID-19 deaths rise as hospitalizations drop in Manitoba

In the previous week, officials reported 149 hospitalizations and 16 deaths.

There was a slight uptick in the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units, with 21 reported last week, up from 16 May 8 to 14.

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The province’s weekly updates no longer give the total number of people currently in hospital or ICU as a result of COVID-19, reporting only how many new admissions occurred during the previous week.

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Manitoba’s total COVID-19 deaths recorded since March 2020 rose to 1,928 in the latest report — an increase of 15 over the previous week.

Read more: Another 11 COVID-19 deaths reported in Manitoba, 196 new hospitalizations

The government has previously told Global News the number of deaths fluctuates as previous cases are confirmed or removed from the list.

Information about COVID-19 deaths, including age, gender and health region, is no longer included in the province’s weekly updates.

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Thursday’s update shows 537 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in the week covered by the report, a drop from 728 the week before.

With an average of 704 tests completed a day, the positivity rate of lab tests fell to 15.4 per cent from 18.5 per cent the previous week.

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Read more: Manitoba reports 185 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, 14 more deaths

But provincial case counts no longer necessarily give an accurate picture of active infection rates because the government has significantly scaled back testing and doesn’t include the results of tests done at home.

Health officials said three new outbreaks were reported at long-term care homes between May 15 and 21. Three new outbreaks were also reported at the Health Sciences Centre and one at Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg.

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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