17 more cases of contagious variants identified in Manitoba

Manitoba public health officials announced 71 new COVID-19 cases and one more death today.

Manitoba variant total sits at 267 — a figure 3.5 times higher than reported variant totals a week ago

Thirteen of the newly-detected variant cases were found in the Winnipeg health region, and four in the south. (CBC)

Manitoba announced one death on Wednesday and 71 new cases, along with more than a dozen new cases of contagious coronavirus variants.

Seventeen cases of variants had been detected as of Wednesday, including four in Southern Health and 13 in the Winnipeg health region.

Three in the south are of the B117 strain originally detected in the U.K., and the specific strain of another hasn't yet been confirmed. Meanwhile, 11 of the cases in Winnipeg are the B117 variant, and results are pending on the other two.

The current variant total in Manitoba is 267 — a figure three-and-a-half times higher than reported variant totals a week ago.

Manitoba's chief provincial health officer said Monday that the province will soon do away with providing detailed regional breakdowns of where variants pop up. Officials have accepted the ratio of variants to the more common strain are beginning to tilt, and they assume it might not be long before variants are the dominant strain.

The majority of variant cases so far are the B117 strain (232). Twenty of the B1351 variant that emerged in South Africa have also been found in Manitoba.

Hospitalizations dip slightly

The provincial five-day test positivity rate sits at 3.8 per cent, down from 4.3 per cent Tuesday. It was 3.3 per cent in Winnipeg as of Wednesday.

The number of people in hospital has generally declined in recent weeks. As of Wednesday, 146 were in hospital due to COVID-19 (down from 150 Tuesday), including 28 in intensive care.

An outbreak at Actionmarguerite St. Boniface in Winnipeg has been declared over.

The province said the death announced Wednesday is linked to an outbreak at the Grace Hospital's Unit 3 South. 

Over half of the daily cases announces Wednesday — 38 — were in the Winnipeg area and 24 were detected in the north. Five cases were found in the Southern Health region, and there were two cases each in the Interlake-Eastern and Prairie Mountain health regions.

Another 2,251 tests were done Tuesday. 

There are 1,181 active cases right now, and 34,122 cases have been found in Manitoba since the beginning of the pandemic.

So far, 32,006 people have recovered in Manitoba and 935 people have died due to COVID-19.

Officials also announced Manitoba plans to hire more staff at its immunization supersite in Winnipeg following complaints of delays.

The province says 11.8 per cent of eligible Manitoba adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.


Bryce Hoye


Bryce Hoye is an award-winning journalist and science writer with a background in wildlife biology and interests in courts, climate, health and more. He recently finished up a stint as a producer for CBC's Quirks & Quarks. He is the Prairie rep for OutCBC. Story idea? Email