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COVID-19 hospitalizations drop in Manitoba, three more deaths reported Wednesday

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Manitoba's top doctor says hospitalization rates remain high but are stable – though it is too early to tell where the province is in the pandemic's current wave.

The total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped on Wednesday. According to the provincial COVID-19 dashboard, there were 720 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday – down from 729 hospitalizations on Tuesday.

Of the total hospitalizations, 655 people have active cases. The province is reporting 49 COVID-19 patients are in the intensive care unit, including 44 who have active cases.

"At this point, we do see that hospitalization rates are high, although stable. The same goes for ICU admissions at this point," said Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer.

"It is still early to describe where definitively we are in this wave. We do know for sure that the virus is very much present in our communities and circulating."

As of Wednesday, the province said 85.5 per cent of eligible Manitobans had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 79.0 per cent have two doses and 39.0 per cent have three doses.

"Currently, children in the five to 11 age group are lagging a bit behind in their uptake of the vaccine so far and are only beginning to get their second doses," said Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead of Manitoba's vaccine implementation task force.

 As of Wednesday, the province said 55.2 per cent of that age group has received their first dose.

Reimer said children aged five to 11 are eligible for a second dose eight weeks after the first dose unless they live in a First Nation community, in which case they must wait three weeks after the first dose.

THREE MORE COVID-19 DEATHS REPORTED IN MANITOBA 

Three more COVID-19 deaths were added on Wednesday, including the deaths of a woman in her 90s and a man in his 70s from Winnipeg, and a woman in her 90s from the Interlake-Eastern health region linked to an outbreak at the Betel Home personal care home.

The deaths reported on Tuesday include two men and a woman in their 70s and two men in their 80s, all from Southern Health-Santé Sud, and two men in their 50s and 60s from Winnipeg.

These most recent deaths bring the total to 1,524.

The province completed 2,194 laboratory tests on Tuesday, with the five-day test positivity rate now at 32.4 per cent.

The province reported 637 new COVID-19 cases, though health officials said the number of daily reported cases is an undercount as many positive results from rapid antigen tests taken at home are not included.

"We are continuing to see a significant amount of spread of COVID-19 in the community," Roussin said.

The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in Manitoba is 117,395, which includes 39,933 active cases and 75,938 recoveries. 

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