Daily Manitoba COVID-19 cases fall to 103 after record high last week, but death count remains high
Hospitalizations reached a record high of 130, with 20 people in ICU
Manitoba announced five more deaths due to COVID-19 and 103 new cases — a sharp drop from the hundreds seen in recent days.
Daily case counts have fallen steadily every day since reaching a record-shattering high of 480 last Friday, but the number of deaths announced Tuesday is tied for the second-highest reported in a single day.
One of those deaths, involving a man in his 80s, is connected to an outbreak at the Maples Personal Care Home, bringing the total number of deaths at the Winnipeg care home to seven.
An outbreak at Maples has infected 146 people, including 117 residents.
The other deaths announced Tuesday were also in the Winnipeg region, including a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 80s, and a man in his 90s. There have now been 85 deaths due to COVID-19 in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic.
Hospitalizations also continued to climb, with 130 people in hospital — six more than on Monday, and a record high — and 20 in intensive care, up from 18.
Public health officials declared outbreaks at the Fred Douglas Lodge personal care home, Seine River Retirement Home and Misericordia Health Centre's transitional care unit on Tuesday.
There are now outbreaks in 21 Manitoba personal care homes, with a total of 373 infections and 38 deaths.
On Tuesday, the Canadian Red Cross announced it would step in to help out in personal care homes across the province after weeks of mounting cases.
61 new cases in Winnipeg
Health officials began scrambling last week to free up space in hospitals, cancelling some non-urgent and elective procedures and adding critical care beds, in anticipation of a coming surge of COVID-19 patients over the coming weeks.
"Surgical and diagnostic activity will be decreased over the coming days in proportion to the escalating needs that we expect to see in medicine and critical care," Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa said at a news conference on Monday, adding that health officials would contact impacted patients directly.
As of Monday morning, intensive care units were at 94 per cent capacity, Siragusa said.
Manitoba's five-day test-positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — fell slightly to 8.6 per cent, down from the all-time high of nine per cent reached on Monday.
The Winnipeg region continued to produce most of the new cases on Tuesday, with 61 new infections announced. Winnipeg had a test-positivity rate of 9.3, down from 9.8 on Monday, although health officials say that number is less reliable because of the smaller sample size.
The Southern Health region had 15 new cases, Interlake-Eastern had 13, the Northern Health region 12, and the Prairie Mountain Health region had two.
Since the start of the pandemic in March, 6,377 people in Manitoba have tested positive for the virus. One previously reported case was removed from the provincial total Tuesday, as it was determined to be from out of province.
The latest numbers come a day after the Winnipeg metropolitan region went to the red, or critical, level on the province's pandemic response system — that system's highest level. The rest of the province is now at the orange, or restricted, level.
The changes brought in new restrictions on gathering sizes across much of the province and forced many businesses, including bars and restaurant dining rooms, to close.
New exposures announced
Health officials announced a number of new exposures on Tuesday:
- Oct. 23 to 24:
- Grumpy's Bar at the Altona Hotel (61 Centre Ave E, Altona), 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
- Oct. 21, 22, 26 and 27:
- Gordon Bell High School.
- Oct. 21 to 23:
- École Christine-Lespérance.
- Oct. 22:
- Collège Louis-Riel school bus.
- Oct. 22 and 23:
- Seven Oaks Child Day Care Centre Inc.
- Oct. 26:
- Henry G. Izatt Middle School.
- Oct. 26 and 27:
- Winnipeg Transit Route 21, from Portage Avenue and Parkdale Street to Portage and Trail Avenue, 3:50 p.m.
- Collège Garden City Collegiate.
- Amber Trails School.
- Grant Park High School.
Public health officials say they will reach out to anyone determined to be a close contact. Anybody who may have been exposed at any of these locations should watch for COVID-19 symptoms over the next 14 days and immediately self-isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.