WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health officials announced on Saturday that there are 13 new cases of COVID-19 in the province. 

This now brings the total to 243 cases and four deaths.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said eight people are in hospital, five of whom are in intensive care. He also said 96 people have recovered, and there are no new deaths to report.

Roussin also noted that Manitobans should not interpret current case numbers to mean the risk of COVID-19 is reduced.

"These next few weeks are vital in Manitoba's response to this virus," he said. "If we let our guards down, transmission will again increase."

Roussin stressed the importance of staying home as much as possible, and physical distancing when you do leave your home.

"As the weather increases and there are many holiday celebrations that are usually planned, do not attend family gatherings," said Roussin.

"Do not arrange for people to attend your home for a gathering."