Public health officials say one man in his 80s from Winnipeg is the latest death connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fatality is linked to an outbreak at Grace Hospital unit 3 South and brings the death toll in the province to 933.
There are 57 new cases of the virus in Manitoba, including:
- 26 cases in the Winnipeg health region
- 23 cases in the Northern health region
- 7 cases in the Southern health region
- 1 case in the Prairie Mountain health region
- 0 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region
Friday, 2,043 Manitobans went for a COVID-19 test, giving the province a five-day test positivity rate of 4.2 per cent and 3.3 per cent in Winnipeg.
As of Saturday morning, 60 people in hospital have active COVID-19 cases while 83 people are no longer infectious, but still require care, totaling 143 hospitalizations.
The intensive care unit (ICU) holds 13 patients with active COVID-19 infections while 15 are no longer infectious, but still require care, totaling 28 ICU patients.
There were no new variant of concern (VOC) cases reported Saturday leaving the total number of confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant at 109 and the B.1.351 variant at 14.
Rise in Manitoba variant cases
The province has 1,190 active cases of the virus as of March 27, and 31,744 Manitobans have recovered.
An outbreak has been declared at St. Anthony’s General Hospital (acute care inpatient unit) in The Pas. The unit has been moved to the Critical (red) level on the pandemic response system.
Outbreaks previously declared at CN Rail on Lagimodiere Boulevard and MD Practice Solutions of Manitoba Inc. on Fort Street, both in Winnipeg, have been moved to the Restricted (orange) level on the pandemic response system based on further information from public health officials, according to Saturday’s bulletin.
Public health officials are warning of a possible exposure March 20-21 from 5 p.m. to 5 am., and March 23 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in a Duffy’s taxi, cab #245.
Officials say anyone concerned about their exposure or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links-InfoSante at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257.
While the province races to get as many people vaccinated as possible, infectious disease expert Jason Kindrachuk warns of the danger of variants of concern, saying the B.1.1.7. variant has increased its presence over the past week in the province.
“Looking at what’s happened in Regina and in other locales across Canada, we know what can happen if this variant gets out of control,” he told 680 CJOB.
In that city, just a five-hour drive from Winnipeg, restaurants and bars will be forced to close to dine-in service on Sunday.
Kindrachuk, a University of Manitoba researcher currently based in Saskatoon, says Manitobans need to realize their province could see the same measures put in place in the near future if they’re not diligently following health orders.
“We’ve learned a little bit over the last couple of months what this could look like,” Kindrachuk says. “We need to be cautious — we know what this can turn into.”
It’s a blueprint Kindrachuk hopes Manitoba doesn’t have to follow.