COVID-19 test positivity rate drops below 3% as Manitoba reports 39 new cases

Manitoba's COVID-19 test positivity rate dropped below three per cent on Friday for the first time since the beginning of the province's second wave.

Province reports no deaths linked to the illness, drop in hospitalizations on Friday

A health-care worker takes a nasal swab from a woman at a COVID-19 test clinic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 57,000 Manitobans have tested positive for the illness. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba's COVID-19 test positivity rate has dropped below three per cent for the first time since the beginning of the province's second wave.

On Friday, the five-day test positivity rate sank to 2.9 per cent, the province said in a news release, down from 3.4 on Thursday. The last time that figure was under the three per cent mark was on Oct. 7, when it was 2.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg's rate sank to 2.7 per cent, down from 3.1 on Thursday.

The province also reported 39 new COVID-19 cases and no more deaths linked to the illness on Friday, the release said. Manitoba's total number of COVID-19 deaths remains 1,164.

The new cases announced Friday are split between the Winnipeg health region, with 15; the Interlake-Eastern health region, with 10; the Southern Health region, with nine; the Prairie Mountain Health region, with three; and the Northern Health Region, with two.

The province's seven-day new case average is now down to just under 49.

There are now 120 Manitobans hospitalized after getting COVID-19, the release said, down eight since Thursday. Of those people, 27 are in intensive care, a drop of four.

There is now only one Manitoban receiving critical care outside the province, down one since Thursday. That patient is in a hospital in Ontario.

The province also reported 24 newly identified cases linked to more contagious coronavirus variants, Manitoba's online variant dashboard says. 

Of those cases, four are linked to the B.1.1.7 alpha variant first seen in the U.K., one is connected to the B.1.617.2 delta variant initially detected in India and 19 are still listed as unspecified, the dashboard says.

As of Friday, 60.4 per cent of Manitobans age 12 and up had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the province's online vaccine dashboard says. Among those with at least one dose, that figure now sits at 77.2 per cent.

The province did 1,579 COVID-19 tests on Thursday, bringing the total number of swabs completed to 852,858.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 57,065 people in Manitoba have tested positive for COVID-19, the release said, with 958 of those cases still deemed active and 54,943 considered recovered.


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