WINNIPEG -- Manitoba's death count continued to climb on Saturday as the province announced six new deaths connected to COVID-19.

Of those deaths, five are linked to variants of concern.

The deaths include a man in his 50s from the Southern Health Region linked to the B.1.1.7 variant. All the other deaths are from the Winnipeg area, including;

· A woman in her 30s linked to the B.1.1.7 variant;

· A man in his 60s linked to an unspecified variant;

· Two men in their 70s, one of which was linked to the B.1.1.7 variant; and

· A woman in her 70s connected to the P.1 variant.

There have now been 1,028 COVID-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic in Manitoba.

Manitoba also added 476 new cases, however, three were removed due to a data correction.

Winnipeg once again had the highest number of new cases with 360 and the five-day test positivity rate is 16.8.

The Southern Health Region had the next highest case count with 44, the Northern Health Region had 26, the Interlake-Eastern Health Region had 24, and 22 are from the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

Manitoba has had a total of 47,977 COVID-19 cases.

As of Saturday, there are 4,984 active cases and 41,965 people have recovered.

Of those active cases 2,965 are variants of concern. Manitoba has had a total of 8,597 variant cases and the variants have been linked to 50 deaths.

The majority of variant cases have been classified as unspecified at 4,521. There has been 3,944 B.1.1.7 cases, 29 B.1.351 cases, 85 P.1 variant cases, three B.1.617, eight B.1.617.1, and seven B.1.617.2.

The hospital system continues to deal with a high number of COVID-19 patients as there are 241 people with active COVID-19, including 53 in ICU.

Another 57 people are no longer infectious but still require care, including 21 in intensive care.

On Friday, 3,557 tests were performed, bringing the total to 743,131 since February 2020.