Woman dies following COVID-19 outbreak at Steinbach care home while Manitoba sees 25 new cases

Another person has died from COVID-19 and there are 25 new cases of the virus, according to a provincial news release.

Manitoba has the most active cases per capita in Canada: Health Canada

An individual is tested for COVID-19 at the Town Centre testing site in Brandon, Man. The Prairie Mountain Health region, which includes Brandon, is experiencing an uptick in cases this month. (Ian Froese/CBC)

A woman with COVID-19 has died after being exposed to an outbreak of the disease at a Manitoba care home.

The woman in her 90s from the Steinbach health district in the Southern Health region was connected to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Bethesda Place care home, according to a provincial news release.

She is the 13th person in the province to die from the virus.

Last week, public health officials declared an outbreak at Bethesda Place after one person tested positive for the virus. In total, four staff members and three patients are affected, including the woman who recently died.

"There was a staff member that tested positive that had worked during the infectious period, but not during the period of symptomatic spread," said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, on Monday.

"That's the only possible link." 

(Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Alan Wiebe, a spokesperson from Southern Health, told CBC News all residents of the personal care home are self-isolating in their rooms. The visitors allowed inside must wear masks.

The province also reported 25 new cases of the virus in Manitoba on Tuesday.

Of the 25 new cases reported Tuesday, 10 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, nine are in the Southern Health region and six are in the Winnipeg Health region.

Manitoba leads country with most cases per capita

For the first time since the pandemic began, Manitoba leads the country with the most active cases per 100,000 in Canada, according to data from Health Canada.

"The current situation reinforces the need to follow the fundamentals in the fight against COVID-19," Premier Brian Pallister said in an emailed statement Tuesday, referring to physical distancing, hand hygiene and staying home when sick.

"Our Restart Pandemic Response System allows us to implement targeted, specific measures and restrictions where needed to help slow the spread of this virus. I am confident that Manitobans will follow the recommendations of Dr. Roussin and our public health experts as we work together to get back on track."

There are 399 active cases in the province, while 606 people have recovered. The total number of confirmed cases in Manitoba is 1,018.

These charts show Manitoba's active cases per 100,000 people in comparison to other provinces, and Manitoba's total number of active cases in comparison to other provinces. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.7 per cent, down from 2.9 per cent Monday. 

Currently, Brandon health district has the most active cases in the province with 120, followed by Winnipeg with 92, Asessippi with 51 and Niverville-Ritchot with 27.

"We're, of course, concerned. Everybody I've talked to usually voices their concern," said Merv Starzyk, mayor of the rural municipality of Yellowhead, which is in the Asessippi health district in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

Starzyk says he doesn't know where the positive cases are coming from, and wants the government to release more detailed information about the cases.

"I think it would strike home for some of the, what I call the naysayers … some of those that refuse to accept there's a problem with the virus."

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)

Masks became mandatory on Monday in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor public gatherings in southwestern Manitoba, following a surge of cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

Gatherings are also limited to 10 people, both inside and outside. 

An additional 1,428 lab tests were completed on Monday, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 128,576.

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