Test positivity rates drop again as Manitoba reports 47 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths

The five-day test provincial test positivity rate has dropped to 2.1 per cent, the lowest it's been since Oct. 1 of last year. In Winnipeg, the rate is down to 1.1 per cent.

5-day test positivity rate now 2.1% provincewide, 1.1% in Winnipeg

A health-care worker administers a COVID-19 test. Manitoba's five-day test test positivity rate has dropped to 2.1 per cent Thursday, the lowest it's been since Oct. 1 of last year. (Marta Lavandier/The Associated Press)

Manitoba is reporting 47 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths from the illness, a Thursday provincial news release says.

The Interlake-Eastern health region reported the highest number of new cases Thursday, with 21. There are also 13 new cases in the Winnipeg health region, six in each of the Southern and Northern health regions, and one in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

There are now 526 active cases in the province and 55,845 people have recovered from COVID-19, the province's news release said.

The two latest deaths from COVID-19 — a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 70s, both from the Winnipeg health region — were both connected with the more contagious alpha, or B.1.1.7, coronavirus variant.

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the province is now 1,177.

The five-day test provincial test positivity rate has dropped to 2.1 per cent, the lowest it's been since Oct. 1 of last year and down from 2.5 per cent Wednesday.

In Winnipeg, the rate is down slightly to 1.1 per cent, from 1.3 per cent the day before. That's the lowest rate the province has ever reported for Winnipeg. The province did not begin including that breakdown in its updates until the end of October last year.

The province says 1,673 COVID-19 tests were done on Wednesday.

Some COVID-19 testing site hours may change over the upcoming long weekend. To check locations and hours, visit the province's website

Hospitalizations trending down

There are now 102 COVID-19 patients in hospital, the province said, down from 104 on Wednesday. 

Of those, 29 patients are in intensive care units in Manitoba, down by one.

At this time last month, there were 181 people with COVID-19 in hospital.

Manitoba still isn't back to its normal pre-pandemic baseline, though, a spokesperson from Shared Health says.

Intensive care capacity in the province was 72 before the pandemic, and there are currently a total of 96 patients receiving critical care, including the 29 COVID-19 patients.

The province also reported 26 more cases now linked to coronavirus variants of concern, according to Manitoba's online variant dashboard. There are 318 active cases across the province involving the more contagious variants.

As of Thursday, 79.3 per cent of eligible Manitobans have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 68.6 per cent have had two, the province's online vaccine dashboard says.