49 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Monday

Manitoba announced 49 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, after a weekend that saw back-to-back days of record-breaking daily case numbers.

395 active cases in the province, Dr. Brent Roussin says

Manitoba's current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.9 per cent. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Forty-nine new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba on Monday, marking another double-digit day following two record-breaking tallies over the weekend.

Public health officials announced 42 new cases on Saturday and 72 new cases on Sunday, bringing Manitoba's total active cases to 395 as of Monday.

Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin clarified during a news conference Monday that 24 of the day's new cases are being retroactively added to Sunday's total, bringing that day's case count to 96.

That leaves the official Monday tally at 25 new cases, he said.

"Things have changed so quick with this. We weren't really expecting to see the numbers we did this soon," Roussin said.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.9 per cent.

This chart shows the number of active cases per health region in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Roussin has previously said a test positivity rate over three per cent would suggest significant community-based transmission, which could cause health officials to bring back restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

He says that's not off the table, but the high number isn't representative of how the whole province is doing.

"It's a bit skewed when a huge part of that positive test proportion is related to tight clusters. If you look at the last few days, two-thirds of that positive test proportion is related to cluster outbreaks," he said. "It's a bit misleading, that number, when it's this high."

Of the 49 new cases between both days announced Monday, there were 35 in the Prairie Mountain Health region, two in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, four in Southern Health and eight in the Winnipeg health region, Roussin said.

The chart shows COVID-19 cases broken down by health district. The blue bar shows recovered cases and the red bar shows active cases. The number at the end of the bar shows the number of new cases announced. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Roussin said 236 of Manitoba's 993 cases — nearly one-quarter — are in communal living communities, including Hutterite communities. People in these communities make up more than a third of the active cases in the province, with 148 active as of Monday.

Of those active cases, 99 were announced in the last three days while a mobile testing site was set up.

"I think as we're reaching out, working with the communities … then we're going to see cases that are related to that," Roussin said.

The majority of the cases announced on Monday in the Prairie Mountain Health region are related to known clusters in "communal living communities," including Hutterite communities, he added.

There have been 320 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region since July 1, Roussin said, with 196 active cases as of Monday. A total of 52 of those cases are employees at a business in Brandon, Man., which media reports have confirmed is the Maple Leaf pork-processing plant. Thirty-four of those cases are active.

None of the cases announced Monday are related to an outbreak at the Bethesda Place personal care home, he said.

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A potential exposure to COVID-19 may have occurred at the Safeway Corral Centre (921 18th St. North) in Brandon, Roussin said. The exposure may have happened on Aug. 15 between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Aug. 18 between 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. and on Aug. 19 between 2 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

He says the risk of transmission is considered low, but information is being provided to help people assess their risk and get tested if they start to show symptoms.

In total, there are 993 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in the province.

(Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Across Canada, there have been more than 125,000 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases.

Seven more health-care workers became sick with COVID-19 between Aug. 9 and 15, putting the total to date at 49, according to a weekly report from the province.

This includes one nurse, four health-care aides and two workers categorized as "other." Five of them contracted the virus from close contacts, while two are considered unknown transmission or community spread. 

CBC News has reached out to Shared Health for more information about these health care workers.

COVID-19 testing

Roussin says 1,544 lab tests were completed on Sunday, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 127,149.

A new community COVID-19 testing site will open at 2735 Pembina Highway in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

This chart shows the timeline of Manitoba COVID-19 cases. The red line represents the total number of cases and the grey bar represents the new cases announced daily. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

The site will be open to the public on a walk-in basis, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Access Fort Garry will no longer be offering COVID-19 testing once the new site opens.

Meanwhile, the Portage la Prairie drive-thru community testing site is moving to a new location.

The site will be closed on Wednesday and will re-open at Portage Avenue and 5th Street SE on Thursday. Hours of operation will be Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment only. To book an appointment, call 204-428-3471.