Manitoba public health officials confirm seven additional deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported Saturday, making it the deadliest day in the pandemic.
Those deaths are:
- A man in his 50s from the Winnipeg health region
- A woman in her 60s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at Maples Manor
- A man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Victoria General Hospital
- A man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at Maples Manor
- A woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at Maples Manor
- A woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region
- A man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region and linked to the outbreak at the Victoria General Hospital
Two-hundred and seventy-one new cases of the virus have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., which brings the total lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba to 7,689.
The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 9.4 per cent. Officials say this number does not reflect the situation in other parts of the province, as cases continue to be identified outside Winnipeg.
Saturday’s cases include:
- 31 cases in the Interlake–Eastern health region
- 22 cases in the Northern health region
- 23 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region
- 39 cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
- 156 cases in the Winnipeg health region.
The data also shows there are 4,460 known active cases and 3,126 individuals have recovered from COVID-19.
Level red for Southern Health region
Meanwhile, there are 159 people in hospital with 23 in intensive care, and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 103.
Laboratory testing numbers show 3,216 tests were completed Friday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 279,917.
Public health officials advise that in order to maintain the capacity for testing symptomatic people, testing appointments for people who are asymptomatic will not be booked unless directed by public health.
At this time, individuals who are not experiencing symptoms may be turned away from testing sites.
Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials.
Public health officials have advised that an outbreak has been declared at the Carman Memorial Hospital and visitor restrictions are in place. The site has been moved to Critical (red) on the Pandemic Response System.
Southern region moves to critical
Manitoba’s chief public officer of health, Dr. Brent Roussin said spiking cases in southern Manitoba — including 52 new cases Friday — mean the region will move to red, or critical on the province’s COVID-19 response system starting Monday.
“We’ve been messaging to Manitobans for quite some time about the importance of the fundamentals and to reduce their contacts, but as we can see our cases have gone in the wrong direction,” he said.
“We’re seeing more cases, more strain on our health-care system and so further action is required.”
The changes will see all restaurants and bars closed to in-person dining, although take-out, drive-thru, and delivery will be allowed, Roussin said. Casinos, VLTs, and gaming facilities will also be closed.
Capacity at religious gatherings will be cut to 15 per cent, or 100 people, whichever is lower, and retail shops will have capacity dropped to 25 per cent, or five people, whichever is higher. Grocery and pharmacies will be allowed to remain operating at 50 per cent capacity, Roussin said.
Indoor and outdoor recreation and sports facilities will also be closed under the new orders, while gyms and fitness centres will have capacity reduced to 25 per cent and masks will be required at all times, even while exercising.
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