Record 7 COVID-19 deaths, 271 new cases in Manitoba on Saturday, province reports

Seven more people infected with COVID-19 have died in Manitoba, the province says in a news release, marking a provincial record for most fatalities announced in a day.

There are now 159 COVID-19 patients in hospital, marking first time since Oct. 19 that number has gone down

A sign tells drivers a road near a COVID-19 drive-thru test site in Winnipeg is closed to traffic. (John Einarson/CBC)

Seven more people infected with COVID-19 have died in Manitoba, the province says in a news release, marking a provincial record for most fatalities announced in a day.

Manitoba also posted 271 new cases of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus on Saturday, the release says.

The province's five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is now 9.4 per cent, the release says, marking a new high in Manitoba. In Winnipeg, that rate is now 9.6 per cent, the release says.

The deaths announced Saturday are all in the Winnipeg health region, the release says, and include cases linked to outbreaks at a personal care home and a hospital.

Three of the deaths — a woman in her 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s — are connected with the outbreak at the Maples Long Term Care Home, the release says.

Another two deaths — two men, one in his 60s and another in his 80s — are linked to the outbreak at Victoria General Hospital, the release says.

The other deaths announced Saturday are a man in his 50s and a woman in her 80s, the release says.

There are now 159 people with COVID-19 in hospital in Manitoba, a decrease of two since Friday, including a record 23 in intensive care. The updated figure reflects the first time the number of people in hospital has decreased since Oct. 19.

Manitoba hit a new record for people in intensive care with COVID-19 on Saturday. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Most of the new cases announced Saturday — 156 — are in the Winnipeg health region, the release says. 

The remainder of new cases, according to the release:

  • Southern Health region, 39.
  • Interlake-Eastern Health region, 31.
  • Prairie Mountain Health region, 23.
  • Northern Health region, 22.

To date, 103 people in Manitoba have died of COVID-19, while 3,126 have recovered from the illness.

The province has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Carman Memorial Hospital and brought in restrictions on visitation, the release says. That site has been moved to the critical red level on the pandemic response system.

Possible public exposures to COVID-19 are listed on the province's website.

Manitoba's Southern Health region will move to the critical red level of the pandemic response system on Monday, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced Friday.

The shift will bring in new restrictions to that region similar to the ones already in place in the Winnipeg area, which was moved to the highest level on the response system earlier this week.

There have now been 7,689 cases of COVID-19 detected in Manitoba, the release says. Of those, 4,460 are still considered active, though Roussin has said that number is skewed because of a data entry backlog.

Another 3,216 COVID-19 tests were done on Friday, bringing the total number completed in the province since early February to 279,917, the release says.

Manitoba's five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate hit a new high of 9.4 per cent on Saturday, while Winnipeg's rate climbed to 9.6 per cent. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

The province reminded people that they will not be able to book appointments for COVID-19 tests without having symptoms of the illness, unless they've been directed by public health to get tested. 

People who don't have symptoms may be turned away from test sites right now, the release says, so the province will be able to maintain capacity to be able to test all symptomatic people.

The release also reminds employers not to send employees for testing unless they have symptoms or testing has been recommended by public health.