Record-high 9 deaths, 431 new COVID-19 cases reported in Manitoba
Records also set with 218 hospitalizations, 10.7% test positivity rate
Nine more Manitobans are dead from COVID-19, as the province hit new records for its test positivity rate and the number of patients in hospital with the illness on Wednesday.
That single-day total surpasses the number of deaths in the first five months of the pandemic combined.
Manitoba announced 431 new COVID-19 cases, and Wednesday's total of nine is the highest number of deaths reported in a single day in the province since the start of the pandemic.
Half of the latest deaths are linked to outbreaks at care homes or hospitals. A total of 123 people have now died from the illness in Manitoba.
Records were also set Wednesday with 218 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 32 in intensive care.
The provincial test positivity rate also increased slightly to 10.7 per cent, which is another record, and 10.8 per cent in Winnipeg.
Manitoba's cumulative caseload since the start of the pandemic now stands at 9,308 cases — more than seven times higher than it was at the beginning of September.
Outbreaks at care homes, and to a lesser degree hospitals, have made November the deadliest month yet, with 54 deaths.
In recent weeks, more than 40 residents have died in two Winnipeg care homes alone — the Maples Long Term Care Home and Parkview Place, both privately run by Revera.
Shared Health's chief nursing officer said this week Manitoba continues to add intensive care beds to the health-care system bit by bit, but she acknowledged on Monday capacity remains nearly full.
The latest update comes one day after Manitoba's premier and chief public health officer announced the entire province will move to the red, or critical, level under the provincial pandemic response system. That shift comes into effect Thursday and could last four weeks.
All of the deaths announced Wednesday involve people over the age of 60:
- A man in his 60s from Winnipeg.
- A woman in her 60s from the Northern Health region.
- A man in his 70s from the Southern Health region.
- A man in his 70s from Winnipeg, linked to the St. Boniface Hospital outbreak
- A man in his 70s linked to the Parkview Place outbreak in Winnipeg.
- A man in his 70s linked to the Misericordia Place Personal Care Home outbreak.
- A woman in her 70s from the Interlake-Eastern health region.
- A woman in her 80s linked to the Victoria Hospital outbreak in Winnipeg.
- A man in his 80s linked to the Seine River Retirement Residence, Assisted Living Facility cluster.
Four of the people who died were First Nations citizens, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said in a statement. Two of them lived on-reserve, and two lived off-reserve.
"We send our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers to the families of those we have lost due to this terrible pandemic. First Nations now represent 12 per cent of all deaths in the province due to COVID-19: a number substantially higher than that of other Manitobans," said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas in a written statement.
"While our Nations continue to grieve for those we have lost, I remind everyone that from our grief we must look to draw strength: the strength that it takes to continue doing everything in our capacity to keep each other safe."
Record number of tests Tuesday
More than half of Manitoba's new cases — 252 — were identified in the Winnipeg region.
There were also 101 new cases in the Southern Health region, where Steinbach is located. The southeastern Manitoba city's case count is surging faster than Winnipeg's and has become among the worst in Canada per capita.
The Interlake-Eastern health region registered 32 more cases, while there were 33 in Northern Health and 13 more cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region.
Manitoba also announced a record 5,334 COVID-19 tests were completed Tuesday. Only a third as many tests were done the day before.