WINNIPEG -- The province has announced 25 new cases of COVID-19, many of which are a part of a growing COVID cluster in Brandon.

On Thursday Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, announced the new cases, saying this brings the total number of active cases in the province to 218.

"We know that Manitobans are concerned with the increased numbers, and again I reiterate that we have never been helpless against this virus," he said. "We have acted and responded in the past and we can do the same now."

Twelve new cases were announced in the Prairie Mountain Health region, including:

  • A boy between the ages of 0 and 9;
  • A boy between the ages of 10 and 19;
  • Two men and two women in their 20s;
  • A woman in her 30s;
  • A woman and two men in their 40s;
  • A man in his 50s; and
  • A man in his 60s.

Six new cases were announced in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region, including:

  • A woman in her 20s;
  • A man in his 40s;
  • A woman in her 50s;
  • Two women in their 70s; and
  • A woman in her 80s.

Seven new cases were announced in the Winnipeg health region, including:

  • Two girls between the ages of 0 and 9;
  • Two boys between the ages of 0 and 9;
  • A woman in her 30s, and;
  • A man and woman in their 50s.

Roussin said preliminary information shows the majority of Prairie Mountain Health cases continue to be linked to previously announced cases in Brandon, while the Winnipeg cases are related to travel and close contacts.

Investigations into these cases are still ongoing, he said.

Roussin said as of Aug. 12, there are now 67 cases linked to the cluster in Brandon. He said 26 cases are linked to businesses in Brandon, which is believed to be the Maple Leaf Foods processing plant. Roussin said all but three cases at the business are directly linked to the cluster.

He said all these cases are self-isolating and contact tracing is underway to determine close contacts.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is at 1.19 per cent. There are seven people in hospital due to the virus, three of whom are in intensive care.

So far 377 people have recovered from the virus in Manitoba. The number of COVID-19-related deaths remains at eight.

The total number of lab-confirmed and probable positive cases in the province is now at 603.

The number of tests completed on Wednesday was 1,817, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 108,211.

Roussin said it is recommended only people showing symptoms should be tested.