WINNIPEG -- In the span of nearly six months, the number of health-care workers that were infected with COVID-19 tripled in Canada – with health-care workers in Manitoba and other western provinces seeing the sharpest increase, according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

From January 15, 2020, to the end of July, there were 21,482 health-care workers in Canada who had been infected with the COVID-19 virus, CIHI said in a report released on Thursday.

CIHI said that number nearly tripled from the end of July to mid January 2021, with 65,920 cases among Canadian health-care workers as of Jan. 15, 2021 – close to 20 per cent of Canada's total number of COVID-19 cases.

COVID cases among Canadian health-care workers

(Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information)

While cases among health-care workers increased during these six months in almost all provinces, CIHI said Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia saw the larger percentage increases.

In Manitoba, cases among health-care workers jumped by more than 1,700 in six months. According to the CIHI data, there were 38 cases among Manitoba health-care workers between Jan. 15 to July 23, 2020. Between the end of July 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021, the number of cases among Manitoba health-care workers rose to 1,792.

As of Feb. 13, the most recent data available, a total of 1,933 health-care workers had tested positive for COVID-19 in Manitoba, according to provincial surveillance reports. The province said 1,907 health-care workers are listed as recovered in Manitoba.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 24 health-care worker deaths in Canada. Half of those deaths occurred in the last six months. Two of those deaths happened in Manitoba.