Vaccine clinics resume as Manitoba adds 5 deaths, 133 new COVID-19 cases

Manitoba health officials announced more COVID-19 deaths and cases on Tuesday.

New outbreaks were declared in Health Sciences Centre's GA4 unit and Riverview Health Centre

The province will launch an online dashboard to track the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in January. (Mikaela MacKenzie/CP)

Five more people have died and Manitoba health officials announced 133 new COVID-19 cases in the province on Tuesday.

Labs completed 1,371 COVID-19 tests on Monday.

Four of the five deaths announced Tuesday are linked to outbreaks, including at Holy Family Home, the Convalescent Home and the Oakview Extended Care Facility in Winnipeg, and the Portage District General Hospital in Portage la Prairie. A woman in her 70s from the Winnipeg Health region also died. 

The latest deaths bring the toll in Manitoba to 659.

Although Tuesday's numbers remain lower than the hundreds of new cases Manitoba was seeing earlier this month, health officials warned against growing complacent.

"One hundred and thirty three cases and five deaths does not mean we can be careless with our actions, it does not mean we can take the restrictions currently in place less seriously," said Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer.

"It does not mean we can go see friends and family outside our household, or host people this Thursday to celebrate the New Year."

WATCH | Restrictions will go on for months, Dr. Jazz Atwal warns:

Restrictions will be in place for some time: Dr. Jazz Atwal

9 months ago
Though Manitoba is starting to make some progress at reducing its COVID-19 numbers, Dr. Jazz Atwal says Manitobans should expect to be under some type of restrictions for some time. 1:15

Manitoba's five-day test-positivity rate fell slightly to 12.4 per cent, down from 12.6 per cent on Monday. In Winnipeg, the rate is 12.1 per cent. 

The total number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 fell by five to 338, including 246 people with active virus cases. There are 36 people in ICU, 32 of them with active cases.

The bulk of the new cases announced Tuesday were in the Winnipeg Health region, which had 97 new cases. The Southern Health region had 22 new cases, while there were six in the Interlake-Eastern Health region, five in Prairie Mountain Health, and three in Northern Health region.

A total of 24,385 people in Manitoba have now tested positive for COVID-19. 

New outbreaks

Health officials declared another outbreak in Health Science Centre's GA4 unit. An outbreak in the same unit was declared on Nov. 4, and declared over on Dec. 5. It resulted in the deaths of three patients, along with the infection of 23 patients and 19 staff, according to Manitoba Shared Health.

An outbreak has also been declared in the Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg. A previous outbreak at that centre was announced on Nov. 10 and declared over on Dec. 18, and led to four staff infections, according to provincial data.

The outbreak has been declared over at Tuxedo Villa Extendicare in Winnipeg. That outbreak was announced on Nov. 9 and also led to four staff infections, according to provincial data.

WATCH | Dr. Jazz Atwal discusses vaccine rollout:

Dr. Jazz Atwal on pace of vaccine rollout

9 months ago
Dr. Jazz Atwal said Manitoba is taking a slow and steady pace to its vaccine rollout plans. 0:51

Vaccinations resume

Vaccination clinics for frontline health workers resumed Tuesday morning. The last immunization clinic was held on Dec. 23, with a total of  2,177 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered. The clinics will run until Dec. 31, and then resume Jan. 4 at the RBC Convention Centre.

Another 300 health workers received their first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday, and officials expect another 6,000 health-care workers will get it next week when the vaccination super site opens at the convention centre.

The first shipment of the Moderna vaccine arrives in the province this week.

Acting deputy chief public health officer Atwal says in the early going, vaccine supplies are scarce. Manitoba doesn't have hundred of thousands of doses available, which is why health-care workers are getting top priority, he said.

"We have health care workers all across Manitoba in different jurisdictions, and in First Nations communities, or servicing First Nations ... We have to look at those health-care workers and make sure that they are able to access that vaccine, so that they are protected. So they could stabilize that workforce."

The province will launch an online dashboard to track the distribution of the vaccine starting in January.

On Monday, the province posted its lowest daily case count since Nov. 3, but also the lowest number of tests since mid-September.

The provincial five-day test-positivity rate rose over Christmas, up nearly 20 per cent to 12.6 per cent on Monday from 10.6 per cent on Dec. 24.

WATCH | Manitoba COVID-19 update for Dec. 29:

Manitoba COVID-19 Update, Tuesday, December 29, 2020

9 months ago
Manitoba COVID-19 Update, Tuesday, December 29, 2020 54:37


Cameron MacLean

Online Reporter

Cameron MacLean is a journalist living in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. He has more than a decade of experience covering news in the city and across the province, working in print, radio, television and online.