Daily COVID-19 total bounces back up as Manitoba reports 123 new cases, 3 deaths

There are 123 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths on Wednesday, Manitoba Public Health said in a news release.
More than 1,100 Manitobans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic reached the province 15 months ago. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

There are 123 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths on Wednesday, Manitoba Public Health said in a news release.

That case total snaps a three-day run of new case numbers being below 100.

The deaths, of a man in his 60s from the Southern Health region, a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region and a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg region, are all linked to the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant of concern.

The total number of Manitobans who have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic is now 1,132. Of those, 140 deaths are related to variants of concern.

There are 64 new COVID-19 cases in the Winnipeg health region, 22 in the Northern Health Region, 16 in the Southern Health region, 12 in the Interlake-Eastern health region and nine in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

Despite the increase in the daily case count, the five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate in Manitoba has dropped to 7.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent on Tuesday, with 2,013 tests completed.

The test positivity rate in Winnipeg remains the same as it was on Tuesday at 6.6 per cent.

There are 224 Manitobans in hospital with COVID-19, which is a drop of two. That number includes 70 receiving intensive care and of those, 57 are in Manitoba hospitals, 12 are in Ontario and one is in Alberta.

The province's online variant dashboard also has 109 more newly identified cases of more contagious coronavirus variants.

That includes 52 more cases of the alpha variant and one more of the B.1.617.2 or delta variant, which doctors have said is even more highly contagious and causes more hospitalizations than other variants of concern.

Meanwhile, an earlier outbreak at the Beacon Hill Personal Care Home in Winnipeg has been declared over.

Easing restrictions

A total of 1,202,971 doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba as of Wednesday

The percentage of eligible Manitobans age 12 or older who have now been given a first dose is 71.6, the province's vaccination dashboard says. The percentage with two doses is now 28.8 per cent.

As a result of surpassing a target of 70 per cent with one dose and 25 per cent with two, the provincial government announced Wednesday it will loosen public health orders, effective 12:01 a.m. on June 26, as part of its reopening plan.

That means many businesses will be able to reopen their facilities, including restaurants, gyms and hair salons, and fully vaccinated people will be able to visit personal care homes.

The outdoor gathering size on private property doubles to 10 people, and the outdoor gathering size in public increases to 25.

The reopening plan lays out a number of increased freedoms for fully vaccinated people.