Manitoba marks another pandemic high with 947 new cases of COVID-19

With 947 new cases and one death on Wednesday, Manitoba’s COVID-19 tally shattered the province’s previous record of 825 new positive cases.

This is the fourth time in less than a week that the province has broken the record.

Most of the most recent cases have been in the Winnipeg health region, which has recorded 667 new cases.

There are also 99 new cases in Prairie Mountain Health Region, 91 in Interlake-Eastern Health Region, 82 in Southern Health Region and eight in Northern Health Region.

Dr Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s provincial director of public health, told an online news conference there was a backlog of around 10,700 tests that had not yet been tested for COVID- 19.

“The numbers we are reporting are certainly an underestimate of the amount of transmission we are currently seeing,” he said.

Manitoba has a backlog of about 10,700 COVID-19 tests that have not yet been screened for the virus. Dr Roussin says Wednesday’s record number of cases is likely a significant underrepresentation. (Jaison Empson / CBC)

The province is also reporting the death of a woman in her fifties from the Southern Health Region.

There are now 1,384 deaths linked to COVID-19. As of Wednesday, there were 7,488 active cases and 68,613 people recovered from the virus.

A total of 183 Manitobans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 164 on Tuesday.

Of those, 29 people are in intensive care units across the province, two more than the last report.

Among the active cases in the province, 53% involve people who have received at least two doses, while 41% involve people who have not been vaccinated at all and 6% are partially vaccinated.

The distribution shifts to the unvaccinated when looking at symptom severity. Those who are not fully vaccinated are nine times more likely to end up in hospital with COVID-19, 26 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care and 17 times more likely to die, according to provincial data.

While there are some early indications that the Omicron variant may be less severe than Delta, Roussin said it is more transmissible and Manitobans need to remain vigilant.

“We have numbers that we have never seen before, so even though it is significantly less serious, the overall pressures on the health care system will still be too great for us to handle,” he said. .

“We cannot in any way count on the possibility that this will be any less serious … We must reduce this transmission now and significantly.”

Manitoba public health officials say the province’s test positivity rate may be skewed because people take rapid tests and only show up for a PCR test if they are positive. (Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press)

The five-day test positive rate is 24.2% provincially, up from 21.9% on Tuesday. In Winnipeg, the rate is 26.2 percent.

The rates are likely skewed because so many people use rapid home tests and return for testing at provincially run sites if they test positive, Roussin said.

Faster tests will be distributed across the province in response to the backlog, he added.

As of Tuesday, 3,852 COVID-19 tests were performed.

The province also provided more details on the five deaths reported on Tuesday. They are:

  • Woman in her 40s from Winnipeg Health Region linked to an unspecified variant of concern.
  • A woman in her 50s from the Winnipeg Health Region.
  • A man in his 60s from the Winnipeg Health Region.
  • A woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg Health Region.
  • A man in his 80s from the Southern Health Region.

Days of record number of cases

Wednesday’s update comes after the province reported a record 825 new COVID-19 cases and five other deaths on Tuesday, surpassing previous pandemic records set on Christmas Day (785) and Christmas Eve (742). ).

Just over a week after Manitoba introduced capacity restrictions to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases, Roussin and Premier Heather Stefanson announced the restrictions would tighten slightly on Tuesday.

The updated restrictions mean gatherings should not exceed 50% of the space’s usual capacity, or 250 people, whichever is less. Just before Christmas, assembly restrictions were relaxed slightly for those vaccinated – they were set at 50% but with no capacity limit.

The restrictions affect all indoor and outdoor gatherings, including religious gatherings, cultural events, theaters, restaurants, museums and art galleries, sports and recreational facilities, gymnasiums, and indoor and outdoor sporting events. paying.

The province also requires restaurants and licensed establishments to end the sale of alcohol by 10 p.m.

The restrictions will expire on January 11, 2022.

Advertised fireplaces

Manitoba announces three outbreaks in personal care homes across the province:

  • Northern Spirit Manor Personal Care Home in Thompson.
  • Actionmarguerite Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg.
  • Fred Douglas Lodge in Winnipeg.

The outbreak at the Kin Place personal care home in Oakbank is now considered over.

James C. Tibbs