Manitoba

292 new COVID-19 cases, 15 more deaths in Manitoba on Wednesday

Manitoba health officials announced 292 new COVID-19 cases and 15 more deaths linked to the illness on Wednesday, hours after the first Manitobans were immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine.

'We can't let up at this point,' says top doctor as hospitalizations of infectious patients rise again

Dr. Jazz Atwal, left, acting deputy Manitoba chief public health officer, looks on as Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, speaks at the province's latest COVID-19 update on Wednesday. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba health officials announced 292 new COVID-19 cases and 15 more deaths linked to the illness on Wednesday, hours after the first Manitobans were immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine.

While those inoculations represent a "glimmer of hope," Dr. Brent Roussin said, the chief provincial public health officer urged people in the province to keep following public health orders.

"We've been dealing with this virus for nine months. We're going to have to deal with it for many more months. But today, we start fighting back," Roussin said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"We've made it this far; we can't let up at this point."

Alongside Roussin, Manitoba's acting deputy chief provincial health officer reiterated how COVID-19 is still affecting people across the province — from the consistent strain on the health-care system to communities struggling with widespread outbreaks — even as hundreds of health-care workers are set to be vaccinated this week.

"It's a surreal moment, but we are still at a point where it is critical," Dr. Jazz Atwal said. "We still need people to stay at home."

There are now 404 people in hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 329 of them still infectious, Atwal said. Fifty-three of them are in intensive care, with 46 of those patients considered infectious, he said. 

Among the intensive care patients, 35 are on ventilators, including 32 who are still considered infectious, Atwal said.

As of Wednesday, there are 404 people in hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 329 of them still infectious, said Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba’s acting deputy chief provincial health officer. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

He also urged people to use the province's alternative isolation accommodations if they need to.

Atwal said there are still Manitobans who aren't properly self-isolating after being named as close contacts of COVID-19 cases, and others still who withhold information about who they've been in contact with after testing positive for the illness.

WATCH | Some Manitobans failing to self-isolate, lying to public health staff about contacts:

Ask for isolation centre access if you need it, health official says

2 years ago
Duration 0:52
Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba’s acting deputy chief provincial health officer, is urging people to use the province’s alternative isolation sites if they need a space to quarantine, as public health staff continue to hear from people not properly isolating when they’re supposed to.

Manitoba's five-day test positivity rate, a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive, is now 13.6 per cent, Roussin said, down from 14.2 per cent on Tuesday. In Winnipeg, that rate is now 13.7 per cent.

Outbreaks at four sites across Manitoba have now been declared over by the province: St. Paul's Residence in The Pas, the Flin Flon Personal Care Home, the Winnipegosis Personal Care Home and the Bethesda Regional Health Centre medicine unit in Steinbach.

The outbreak in the Victoria General Hospital's Unit 4 South (the geriatric rehabilitation unit) was also declared over on Wednesday, the Winnipeg hospital posted on its website. The update means there are no longer any active outbreaks at that facility, after two other outbreaks were declared over on Dec. 3.

Care home deaths

The deaths announced Wednesday include two people in their 40s, Roussin said: a man from the Winnipeg health region and a woman linked to the outbreak at Kin Place in Oakbank.

Two people in their 50s are also among the latest fatalities: a man from the Interlake-Eastern health region and a woman linked to the outbreak at Concordia Hospital's N3W unit.

The most recent deaths, which bring the province's total fatalities linked to the illness to 523, include eight connected to outbreaks at care homes and health-care sites across the province: Fairview home in Brandon, the Swan Valley Health Centre, and Charleswood Care Centre, St. Norbert Personal Care Home and Park Manor Care Home in Winnipeg.

Three of the deaths announced Wednesday — a woman in her 80s, a man in his 90s and a woman in her 100s — are linked to Park Manor. Two others — a woman and a man in their 70s — are connected to the St. Norbert care home.

A man in his 70s from Fairview, a woman in her 70s from the Charleswood care home and a man in his 80s linked to the Swan Valley Health Centre are also among the latest fatalities.

The remaining deaths announced Wednesday are three men: one in his 80s from the Southern Health region and two (in their 60s and 90s) from the Winnipeg health region.

One previously announced case was removed from Manitoba's totals on Wednesday because of a data correction, bringing the total number of cases identified in the province to 21,826.

Just over half the new cases announced Wednesday (158) are in the Winnipeg health region, and another 47 are in the Northern Health Region. The remaining new cases are spread out among the Prairie Mountain Health region (35), the Southern Health region (28) and the Interlake-Eastern health region (24).

As of Wednesday, 15,506 people were listed as having recovered from COVID-19 in Manitoba, and 5,797 were still considered active — though Roussin has previously said that number is inflated because of a data entry backlog.

Sites where there were possible public exposures to COVID-19 are listed by region on the province's website.

Another 2,399 COVID-19 tests were completed in Manitoba on Tuesday, health officials said, bringing the total done in the province since early February to 394,501.

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | Dec. 16, 2020:

Manitoba government daily briefing on coronavirus: Dec. 16

2 years ago
Duration 49:33
Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

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