Manitoba reports 230 cases, 2 more deaths due to COVID-19
Coronavirus variant cases up more than 200 and now make up one-third of Manitoba's active cases
Manitoba announced 230 more coronavirus cases and two more deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday, while the number of more contagious variant cases surged by over 200.
The total number of variant cases in the province rose from 1,688 to 1,900, which means about a third of Manitoba's 2,263 active COVID-19 cases — 754 — are now linked to variants.
The number of cases of the P1 variant originally detected in Brazil rose from four a few days ago to nine.
The majority of variant cases to date are concentrated in Winnipeg, with the B117 strain initially found in the U.K. the most common.
The two deaths are a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s, both from the Northern Health Region.
The news comes after Premier Brian Pallister announced that Manitoba teachers and education workers will soon be able to get vaccinated in North Dakota. The U.S. state has agreed to include teachers in an arrangement that allows Manitoba truckers regularly entering the state to be vaccinated there.
Manitoba's test positivity rate fell slightly on Thursday to 7.2 per cent — a little less than double what it was a month ago — and the rate dipped slightly in Winnipeg to 8.3 per cent.
There are 142 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 41 patients in intensive care. Both numbers have been rising; the number of active ICU patients with COVID-19 has roughly doubled in the past two weeks.
The new COVID-19 cases are primarily in the Winnipeg health region, where 177 cases were reported. Another 23 have been identified in Prairie Mountain Health, 14 in Southern Health, 11 in the Northern Health Region and five in Interlake-Eastern.
The province is closing down a Winnipeg testing site at Assiniboina Downs at 3975 Portage Ave. on Saturday because the space is needed for its regular operations. Friday will be the final day it's open. Other testing sites can be found on the provincial website.
Demand for testing continues to rise amid Manitoba's third wave. The seven-day average for tests is just shy of 3,020 right now, compared to under 1,800 on the first of the month.
So far 973 people have died of COVID-19 in Manitoba, with six of those deaths tied to variants.