86 more COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths reported in Manitoba Thursday

Manitoba has 86 new COVID-19 cases and three more people have died in the province on Thursday.

All 3 deaths linked to alpha variant

Manitoba reported 86 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. (Mikaela Mackenzie/Winnipeg Free Press/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba reported 86 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and three more deaths in the province from the illness.

The three deaths, all related to the alpha variant —  also known as B.1.1.7 — were a man in his 60s from the Northern Health region, a woman in her 70s from Southern Health and a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg area.

These latest deaths bring Manitoba's pandemic death toll to 1,157.

The Winnipeg health region had 39 new cases. There are 16 new cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region, 11 in the Northern Health region, and 10 each in the Prairie Mountain and Southern health regions.

The province's test positivity rate fell to 5.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent in Winnipeg, down from 5.6 per cent and 5.5 per cent the day before.

The total number of Manitobans in hospital due to COVID-19 fell to 142, compared to 152 on Wednesday, with 39 Manitoba COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.

Five of those patients are receiving care in Ontario hospitals.

In total, there are 113 patients in Manitoba's intensive care units — including patients receiving non-COVID-19-care — up from 107 on Wednesday. The normal pre-pandemic ICU capacity in Manitoba is 72.

Manitoba currently has 1,016 active cases of COVID-19, up from 990 on Wednesday, including 605 cases connected with the more contagious coronavirus variants of concern.

The province says 74 more COVID-19 cases have been identified as stemming from coronavirus variants, according to online provincial data.

Of those, 21 are connected to the alpha variant, or B.1.1.7, six involve the gamma, or P.1. variant, and 13 cases result from the delta, or B.1.617.2 variant. Another 34 cases involve an unspecified variant.