31 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday in Manitoba, almost half in Southern Health

There are 31 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Friday, with Southern Health reporting the most new cases.

Test positivity rate, number of hospitalizations remain the same

Health officials are worried about a looming fourth wave of the pandemic in Manitoba. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

There are 31 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Friday, with Southern Health reporting the most new cases. 

The rural health authority, which has slightly more than 15 per cent of Manitoba's population, reported 14 of the 31 new infections on Friday.

There are nine new cases in Winnipeg, four in the Northern Health Region and two each in Interlake-Eastern and Prairie Mountain. 

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said 26 of the 31 new cases announced Friday are among people who haven't been fully vaccinated. The ratio is even higher in Southern Health, where only one of the 14 cases affected someone who had received both shots.

Some other statistics in Friday's daily COVID-19 numbers remain stagnant.

Manitoba's five-day test positivity rate is at 2.8 per cent for the third consecutive day.

Sixty-five people remain hospitalized in the province after contracting COVID-19, while 21 people with the virus remain in intensive care. In total, 89 patients are in ICUs for all causes — 17 more than the pre-pandemic baseline capacity of 72.

This is the second consecutive day of new case counts in the double digits. Wednesday's spike of 105 cases is so far a one-day aberration after weeks of fewer than 100 cases daily.

But new public health orders, requiring people attending gyms, restaurants and many other indoor public places to be fully vaccinated, were announced Friday afternoon in response to the threat posed by the more contagious delta variant as the pandemic's fourth wave hits other provinces.

In fact, the province identified 50 more COVID-19 cases on Friday as among the highly transmissible coronavirus variants — 43 of which are the delta variant, or B.1.617.2.

The proportion of eligible Manitobans — those 12 and up — who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is now 76.2 per cent, up 0.2 of a percentage point from Thursday, and 81.7 per cent of eligible Manitobans have had at least one dose, up 0.1, the online vaccine dashboard says.

A total of 1,955 COVID-19 tests were done on Thursday, the dashboard says.

There are 430 active cases in the province and 56,887 people have recovered.