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'Stronger restrictions are an option': Manitoba considering measures to help stem rising COVID-19 cases, deaths


Rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Manitoba are prompting health officials to consider implementing stronger restrictions in an attempt to stabilize case counts.

Manitoba's COVID-19 death toll continues to grow as the province added two new deaths on Wednesday.

This brings the total to 1,268 since the start of the pandemic.

The province also recorded 143 new cases of the virus, pushing the active case count to 1,457.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said seeing the current numbers that the province is dealing with is disappointing and concerning.

"We are continuing to review this, review what our next steps could be. And I can certainly assure you that stronger restrictions are an option," said Roussin.

The majority of the new cases were among unvaccinated people with 84. Five of the cases were partially vaccinated and 54 were fully vaccinated.

The new cases include:

· 66 in the Southern Health Region, 44 are not fully vaccinated;

· 33 in Winnipeg, 21 not fully vaccinated;

· 29 cases are from the Prairie Mountain Health Region, 14 are not fully vaccinated;

· 10 cases from the Interlake-Eastern Health Region, seven were not fully vaccinated; and

· Five cases are from the Northern Health Region, three of which were not fully vaccinated.

Manitoba's five-day test positivity rate grew slightly to 6.2 per cent.

Roussin is again reminding people to follow the public health orders, follow the fundamentals and if people are not vaccinated, he is encouraging them to get the shot, noting this will be the way to help loosen the restrictions.

"It's disappointing and frustrating to me and to all Manitobans I'm sure to have this renewed talk of further restrictions. We've been at this for so long. We're going to need to ask Manitobans for their further adherence and further cooperation as we navigate this fourth wave."

Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead of the vaccine implementation task force, added there are a few reasons why the province is seeing high case numbers.

"Right now, a combination of waning immunity for some individuals and too many people who are still unvaccinated, is a health risk that we want to avoid as much as possible," said Reimer.

In hospitals, 143 people are being treated for COVID-19, with 111 people who are still infectious. There are also 28 people in ICU; Of those, 21 have active COVID.

Of the active cases, 56 are not vaccinated, 49 are fully vaccinated and six are partially vaccinated.

In the ICU, 18 of the cases are not vaccinated and three are fully vaccinated.

On Tuesday, 2,914 tests were completed, bringing the total to 1,118,995 since February 2020. Top Stories

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