Manitoba

259 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths reported in Manitoba today

Manitoba is reporting 259 new cases of COVID-19 today and two new deaths, a provincial news release says.

314 COVID-19 patients in hospital with a record 97 Manitobans in ICUs both locally and in Ontario

Manitoba has reported hundreds of new COVID-19 cases every day for weeks. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Manitoba announced 259 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths on Tuesday, including a man in his 30s from Winnipeg.

The death of a woman in her 80s from the Southern Health region is linked to the B117 coronavirus variant of concern.

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the province is now 1035, including 54 which stem from variants of concern.

Most of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which reported 187 new infections. The rest are split between the Southern Health region with 28 cases, the Prairie Mountain Health and Interlake-Eastern health regions, which each reported 15 cases and the Northern health region with 14.

There have now been 49,046 COVID-19 cases identified in Manitoba, of which 4,945 are considered active and  43,066 recovered.

Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said that although numbers appear to be down, only 2,398 COVID-19 tests were done in the province on Victoria Day Monday.

"We have to be very cautious seeing these numbers. We still have a very high test positivity rate and so certainly we'll be happy to see this as a start of a trend, but we can't rely on that," Roussin said.

He announced on Tuesday that the May long weekend public health restrictions prohibiting gatherings outside of one's household would be extended to Saturday.

"We know it's not what Manitobans want to hear and we know it's been a frustrating 15 months, but we know that our hospitals are being stretched to the limits right now," Roussin said.

"There is hundreds of people in hospital struggling for their lives right now and thousands of health-care providers struggling to provide care for them. We need to stay home as much as possible."

97 COVID-19 patients in intensive care

There are currently 314 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, the province said, down from 318 on Tuesday. Of those, 79 are in intensive care units in Manitoba, while 18 patients have been transferred to Ontario for a total of 97.

That's a new record for Manitoba, up by nine from the day before.

Manitoba's five-day test positivity rate dropped to 13.8 per cent, from 14.3 per cent on Monday. In Winnipeg, that rate sunk to 15.9 per cent from 16.7 per cent on Sunday, the last time the data was updated.

The provincial data dashboard also reports 519 new cases of more contagious coronavirus variants since its last update on Saturday.

The total number of cases involving variants is now 9,104, of which 2,651 are considered active.

The province declared an outbreak at Boundary Trails Health Centre in Winkler in the Surgical/Rehab unit.

4 deaths Monday

The update comes after the province's online dashboard recorded 353 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, while the death toll rose to 1,033.

The province said the next day that four people died.

Two deaths from the Prairie Mountain Health region are linked to the B117 variant of concern — a man in his 40s and a man in his 50s.

Two men in their 70s from the Southern Health region were also reported to have died of COVID-19 on Monday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Bergen is a journalist for CBC Manitoba and previously reported for CBC Saskatoon. Find her on Twitter at @r_bergen or email her at rachel.bergen@cbc.ca.

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