Manitoba records 10th and 11th COVID-19-related deaths, both in Southern Health region

There are 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and two more people have died, a provincial news bulletin says Tuesday.

17 new cases of COVID-19 announced Tuesday, including 11 in Winnipeg health region

A person is tested for COVID-19 at the Town Centre testing site in Brandon, Man., last week. As of Tuesday, Manitoba's current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 1.8 per cent. (Ian Froese/CBC)

There are 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and two more people have died, a provincial news bulletin says Tuesday.

The two deaths are both in the Southern Health region: a man in his 80s from the Hanover health district and a man in his 90s from the Niverville-Ritchot health district. Both men died on Saturday, the province said.

The men were in hospital and their COVID-19 cases were connected to known clusters.

This is the first time two COVID-19-related deaths were announced in Manitoba on the same day.

Of the 17 new cases, 11 are in the Winnipeg health region, two are in the Interlake-Eastern region, two are in Prairie Mountain and two are in Southern Health.

Most of the Winnipeg cases are connected to known cases, but there are cases in which public health officials haven't determined where the patients contracted the coronavirus.

A previously announced case was removed from the list, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Manitoba to 748. There are 235 active cases, while 502 people have recovered from COVID-19.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity average is 1.8 per cent. 

The number of active cases continues to rise. In the past several days, the province has had new cases in the double digits and the number of active cases is higher now than it ever has been.

This chart illustrates where active cases of COVID-19 are in the province, with red indicating Winnipeg cases, yellow for Prairie Mountain, green for Southern Health and blue for Interlake-Eastern. The Northern Health region has only had three cases. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

An additional 1,028 lab tests were completed on Monday, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 116,990.

Unless they're advised otherwise by public health officials, only those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. People with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present.

Meanwhile, four health-care workers tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 2 and 8, the latest public data says.

A spokesperson from Shared Health told CBC News that two are Prairie Mountain Health employees, whose positive tests came back on Aug. 1 and Aug. 8, respectively; one is a Southern Health employee, whose positive test came back Aug. 5; and one is a Winnipeg health region employee, whose positive test came back on Aug. 8.

One of the Prairie Mountain Health cases wasn't identified as a health-care worker until the following day, which is why that case was lumped in with those identified between Aug. 2 and 8, the spokesperson said.

Manitoba has the third highest number of active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the country. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

One of the cases was cleared to return to work last week, while the others remain active cases, the spokesperson said.

Investigators are still looking into how the person at Bethesda Place became infected, he said at a news conference on Monday.