Manitoba reports 2 more deaths at Parkview Place and record-setting 146 new cases of COVID-19

Manitoba is reporting 146 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, setting a record daily high for the second consecutive day — and the fourth time in the past week.

Majority of cases Wednesday — 114 of them — are in the Winnipeg health region

Manitoba's COVID-19 caseload continues to soar through a record-breaking week. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Manitoba is reporting 146 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, setting a record daily high for the second consecutive day — and the fourth time in a week.

The province also announced two more COVID-19-related deaths — a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s, both from Winnipeg.

A provincial spokesperson confirmed Wednesday evening that both of those people were residents at Parkview Place in Winnipeg.

The five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 4.4 per cent, which is also a record. The previous record was 3.5 per cent, announced Tuesday.

Wednesday's case total is the fourth record-breaking day in less than a week. It follows 124 new cases announced on Tuesday — the first triple-digit daily tally of the pandemic.

The majority of Wednesday's cases — 114 — are in the Winnipeg health region.


Since last week, Manitoba has matched or broken records for daily case counts multiple times and announced more than one death on many days.

Three deaths were announced Oct. 7, followed by three more on Oct. 9. Two more deaths on Oct. 12 included Manitoba's youngest COVID-19 victim to date, a man in his 40s with no underlying conditions.

The outbreak at Parkview Place in Winnipeg has now become the deadliest at a Manitoba personal care home, with nine deaths there now linked to COVID-19.

That outbreak includes a total of 89 people — 67 residents and 22 staff — according to a news release from Revera, the company that operates Parkview.

During question period in Manitoba's Legislature Wednesday, NDP health critic Uzoma Asagwara said the province's response to this outbreak has been insufficient. 

"We know the staff are doing their best but this facility was not ready to manage an outbreak or to mitigate it," Asagwara said.

"This did not have to happen. Much more needs to be done to mitigate the outbreak and keep it from further spreading."

In response, Health Minister Cameron Friesen said no jurisdiction has been immune to outbreaks in personal care homes. He said it's a tragedy, but the province has taken action to deal with the situation. 

"We are taking the proper steps. We believe our prompt interventions have saved lives," he said.

The province reported the total number of COVID-19-related deaths as 37 on Wednesday. There have been 17 deaths in Manitoba since Oct. 1 alone.


The locations of new cases in the province are:

  • 114 in the Winnipeg health region.
  • 17 in the Southern Health region.
  • Nine in the Interlake-Eastern health region.
  • Four in the Northern Health Region.
  • Two in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

There are now 27 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba — three of whom are in intensive care.

Manitoba has reported 2,925 COVID-19 cases since the first cases in the province were announced in March. 

There were 2,200 tests completed Tuesday, bringing the total number of lab tests in Manitoba since early February to 215,861.


School exposures

Public health officials are also advising about possible exposures at four schools — Mitchell Middle School in the community of Mitchell, Margaret Park School in north Winnipeg, Acadia Junior High in south Winnipeg and Clearspring Middle School in Steinbach. 

The exposure at Mitchell Middle School happened Oct. 7-9, but health officials don't believe the infection was acquired at the school and the risk of the exposure is assessed as low. However, close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms, and seek testing if symptoms develop.

The exposure at Margaret Park was on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7, while the exposure at Acadia was Oct. 5-6. In both cases, the risk of exposure has been assessed as low and the infections are not believed to have been acquired at the schools. Close contacts have been advised to self-isolate.

Hanover School Division did not release information in its notice about the date, or dates, of exposure at Clearspring Middle School, but said anyone identified as a close contact of the confirmed case will be contacted directly by public health. 

WestJet exposure

Public health officials have also identified possible exposures on a WestJet flight from Edmonton to Winnipeg.

Individuals who were seated in rows one to five on Flight WS204, on Oct. 2, are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

Passengers on this flight, but not in the affected seats, should self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate if they develop.

There were 2,200 tests completed Tuesday, bringing the total number of lab tests in Manitoba since early February to 215,861.

Cases on reserves

As of Wednesday, the federal government said there have been a total of 81 COVID-19 cases on First Nations reserves in Manitoba, but the national data doesn't say how many of those cases are considered recovered.

The chief and council at Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, about 225 kilometres north of Winnipeg, issued a community notice on Wednesday saying two positive cases had been detected over the weekend, bringing the total number of active cases on the reserve to three.

"We understand how these new difficult, frustrating, and scary times can be on our community's health and safety," the notice states.

"KFN chief and council continue to urge members to refrain from going to the city of Winnipeg and any of the other areas identified as restricted (orange) by the province of Manitoba's pandemic response system."

Members are also urged to stay within family/social bubbles, and to keep a record of places they visit and anyone with whom they come into contact.

"We will get through this together," the notice says.

The leadership of Long Plain First Nation issued a notice to its community members Wednesday evening that there have been cases confirmed on its Keeshkeemaquah Reserve, near Portage la Prairie. The notice, which was posted to Facebook, didn't say how many cases had been confirmed. 

The remote fly-in community of Little Grand Rapids, about 270 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, has reported that its outbreak grew to 33 confirmed cases on the weekend.

Dr. Rafiq Andani, medical director for Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 response teams, said the outbreak on that reserve is the biggest so far on a First Nation in the province.

His rapid response team remains in the community and is organizing almost-daily flights out of Little Grand Rapids for COVID-positive patients, who are being flown to Winnipeg.

Outbreak at Thompson YWCA

An outbreak of COVID-19 has also been declared at the YWCA in Thompson, which has been housing about 25 homeless people during pandemic.

The non-profit organization also offers education and life-skills programs for men and women.

The province announced Wednesday the facility has been put into the critical (red) level of the pandemic response system.

No information has been released yet on the number of cases connected with the YWCA.


Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, at the Regina Leader-Post then the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He has been with CBC Manitoba since 2009 and specializes in offbeat and local history stories. He is the author of award-nominated and bestselling The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent.