Manitoba reports 78 new COVID-19 cases Friday, 115 Thursday, no new deaths

Friday's update is the first since Wednesday, due to the observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday.

1st update since Wednesday shows 61 more cases in Southern Health region, 47 in Winnipeg

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba public health officials announced a two-day total of 193 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

That number includes 115 cases recorded Thursday and 78 recorded Friday, a provincial news release says. 

No new deaths have been reported due to the illness. 

This is the first update of the province's COVID-19 cases since Wednesday due to the observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday.

There are currently 92 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 19 in intensive care. 

Friday's update provided details on two COVID-19-related deaths reported earlier in the week. They were a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s, both from the Southern Health region. Both deaths, reported Tuesday, were linked to unspecified variants of concern. 

Manitoba's current five-day test positivity rate is three per cent, unchanged since Wednesday's update. The test positivity rate in Winnipeg is 1.3 per cent, up slightly from 1.2 per cent when that number was last reported on Monday.

Over Thursday and Friday, the Southern Health region reported the highest number of new cases, with 61.

The province announced new restrictions Friday for Southern Health, in an effort to curb growing case numbers and hospitalizations.

The new measures include dropping retail capacity to 50 per cent for businesses in the region, along with provincewide restrictions coming into effect on Oct. 5 that will put limits on any gatherings that involve people who are eligible to be vaccinated, but haven't yet got their shots.

Southern Health cases could double in 3 weeks: Roussin

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, says the restrictions are needed because case counts are rising primarily in the unvaccinated.

If the current trajectory continues, it could take less than three weeks for COVID-19 case numbers to double in Southern Health, which has the lowest vaccination rate of Manitoba's five health regions, Roussin said.

"That alone could place the province's hospital system at risk," he said at a Friday news conference announcing the changes.

"This is why we need to take action now, to continue to be proactive to protect Manitobans and our health-care system."

Meanwhile, the Winnipeg health region reported 47 new COVID-19 cases over Thursday and Friday, while there were 39 in the Northern Health Region over the two days, 34 in Prairie Mountain and 12 in the Interlake-Eastern region.

Of the 78 new cases reported for Friday, 55 were in people not vaccinated at all, six were partially vaccinated and 17 were fully vaccinated. 

As of Friday, 84.9 per cent of eligible Manitobans had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 80.4 per cent had two doses.

48 more cases in students, school staff

Another 227 cases have now been linked to more infectious coronavirus variants of concern, with no new deaths related to variants reported in Friday's update.

Two cases were linked to the alpha variant, while the remaining new cases stem from unspecified variants. 

Another 48 COVID-19 cases have been reported in school-age children and school staff since that number was last updated on Tuesday.

There have now been 181 of those cases since the school year started on Sept. 7 — 155 student cases and 26 staff cases, according to the province's dashboard.

A total of 83 schools have now reported at least one COVID-19 case since the start of the school year, up from 63 schools as of Tuesday.

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | October 1, 2021:

Manitoba government daily briefing on coronavirus: October 1

2 years ago
Duration 45:55
Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Rules target gatherings involving unvaccinated people, stores in area with worst immunization rate.