8 COVID-19 deaths reported in Manitoba on Friday, hospitalizations drop by 1

Eight deaths related to COVID-19 and a drop of one hospitalization due to the virus were reported in Manitoba Friday in a news release.

15 deaths reported over 2 days, including 13 in the Winnipeg health region

Manitoba's COVID-19 hospitalization rate has lately been the highest among the provinces and territories. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Eight deaths related to COVID-19 and a drop of one hospitalization due to the virus were reported in Manitoba Friday in a news release.

There are now 664 people in hospital, down from 665 on Thursday, including 50 in intensive care units — a number unchanged from Thursday.

This is the first time in four weeks that the number of patients in hospital has decreased.

Seven of the latest deaths are from the Winnipeg health region and one is from the Interlake-Eastern health region.

Those from Winnipeg are two women in their 60s, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 90s, a woman in her 80s who is a linked to an outbreak at Actionmarguerite St. Boniface, a man in his 80s linked to an outbreak at Vista Park Lodge and a woman in her 80s linked to an outbreak at Victoria General Hospital, unit 4 south.

The death in the Interlake-Eastern region is a man in his 60s.

More details were also released about seven deaths posted Thursday on the province's online dashboard; six are from the Winnipeg region and one is from the Southern Health region.

Those from Winnipeg are a woman in her 60s, two men in their 70s, a woman in her 70s, a woman in her 70s linked to an outbreak at Oakview Place personal care home and a woman in her 80s linked to an outbreak at Actionmarguerite St. Joseph.

The death in Southern Health is a woman in her 50s.

The province's death toll related to COVID-19 is now 1,492.

Another 827 new COVID-19 cases were also reported Friday, a drop of 24 from Thursday. The pandemic total number of cases is now 114,021.

Health officials have repeatedly said those numbers are a significant undercount of the total number of active cases.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has overwhelmed testing capacity and led to numerous cases going unreported. Many people are now using rapid tests at home, and those results are not entered into the provincial database.

Manitoba is strictly restricting access to PCR tests at provincial sites. To protect capacity, those tests are limited to certain people, including some symptomatic people and some people who have had a positive rapid test.

More than half of the latest cases are in the Winnipeg health region, with 444.

There are 133 in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 124 in the Northern Health Region, 69 in the Southern Health region and 57 in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

A breakdown of the latest cases by vaccination status can be viewed on a chart on the government website.

Maps of cases and data from different regions and health districts can be found on the province's dashboard.

The total number of patients in ICUs — both those with COVID-19 and those being treated for non-COVID-related issues — remains at 103.

The critical care program's normal, pre-COVID baseline capacity was 72 patients. 

New outbreaks have been declared at Health Sciences Centre's unit PX3 in Winnipeg and the Brandon Regional Health Centre's 300 surgical unit. The outbreak is now declared over at Health Sciences Centre's GA5 unit in Winnipeg.

As of Friday, 85.3 per cent of eligible Manitobans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 78.5 per cent have had at least two and 37.4 per cent have had three, the provincial vaccine dashboard says.

Eligibility for first and second doses includes anyone age five or older. People 18 or older are eligible for a third dose, if there's been a long enough interval since they received their second dose.

So far, 67,528 first doses have been given to children age five to 11, or 54 per cent of that age group. The second round of vaccines for that group began this week.

The total number of doses administered in the province for all those eligible is now at 2,688,402 with 3,353 more scheduled to be given on Friday.


    • We initially reported there were seven deaths on Friday based on information on the provincial data dashboard. In fact, a news release from the province said there were eight.
      Jan 21, 2022 12:57 PM CT


    Darren Bernhardt


    Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, first 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.