WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials announced eight new deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest number of daily deaths since January.

The deaths include five people from Winnipeg, two from the Prairie Mountain Health Region, and one in the Southern Health Zone.

The last time eight deaths from COVID-19 were reported was on Jan. 28.

The Winnipeg deaths include three men in their 60s, with one of the deaths linked to the B.1.1.7 variant of concern.

The Winnipeg deaths also included a woman in her 60s, and a woman in her 80s, both linked to the B.1.1.7 variant.

The deaths in the Prairie Mountain Health Region were a woman in her 30s linked to the B.1.1.7 variant, and a man in his 60s, linked to an unspecified variant of concern.

The death in Southern Health was a man in his 80s.

The death toll is now 1,042. The province said one death, a woman in her 90s from Winnipeg reported on May 26, was removed due to a data correction.

Manitoba also announced 297 new cases on Thursday, though two cases were removed due to data corrections.

Since March 2020, 49,651 COVID-19 cases have been announced in Manitoba.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is 12.6 per cent provincially, with Winnipeg’s at 14 per cent.

Among the province’s health regions, Winnipeg reported the highest number of new cases with 169. The Southern Health Region reported 65 new cases and the Northern Health Region reported 25 new cases. Both the Interlake-Eastern Health Region and the Prairie Mountain Health Region reported 19 new cases.

There are currently 4,639 active cases and 43,970 people who have recovered.

There are 324 people in Manitoba hospitals, including 251 patients with active cases of COVID-19. The province says 73 people are in hospital who are no longer infectious, but still need care.

There are 73 ICU patients in Manitoba, including 51 people with active COVID-19 cases and 22 who are no longer infectious, but still require critical care.

Manitoba’s variant of concern totals now sits at 9,597. There are 2,473 patients with active variant cases, and 7,064 people who have recovered.

There are 4,986 unspecified variants in Manitoba, the most in the province, followed by 4,451 B.1.1.7 variant cases. There are 108 P1 variant cases, 34 cases of the B.1351 variant, and 18 cases of the B.1.617 variant.