Northern region sees majority of Manitoba's new COVID-19 cases
Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy Manitoba chief public health officer, speaks at the province's latest COVID-19 update at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Wednesday, December 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
WINNNIPEG -- Manitoba is reporting 83 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
The new cases were announced during the province’s COVID-19 teleconference on Tuesday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases to 29,733. One previously announced case was removed due to a data correction.
The majority of new cases were in the Northern Health Region, with 53 new cases. The Winnipeg Health Region reported 18 new cases.
The Interlake-Eastern Health Region and the Prairie Mountain Health Region each reported five new cases, while the Southern Health Region reported two new cases.
Dr. Jazz Atwal, the acting deputy provincial public health officer, noted the province hasn’t seen many cases yet that can be attributed to the decision to relax some public health restrictions on Jan. 23, but said it is still too early.
“There’s always some hesitancy right off the bat for people to partake in some activities, but obviously people are partaking in activities, whether they’re outdoors skating, skiing, or going to retail, et cetera. It seems like compliance is fairly well with public health messaging,” he said. “Things are improved for sure.
“We still need that trend to continue. We still want to keep out hospitalization numbers down.”
Tuesday’s hospitalization data shows 99 people have active COVID-19, and 155 people have COVID-19 but are no longer infectious. For patients requiring intensive care, 24 patients have an active case of COVID-19, while 12 still have COVID-19, but are no longer infectious.
Atwal added no COVID-19 variants have been discovered in Manitoba.
The province did not release any information on new deaths on Tuesday, saying a data reset is ongoing to put “additional checks and balances” into place and to improve regional data, according to the daily bulletin.
Deaths related to COVID-19 will be updated and reported on Wednesday. As of Monday, there have been 832 deaths related to COVID-19 in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is 7.6 per cent, with the rate in Winnipeg sitting at 4.1 per cent.
There are 3,421 active COVID-19 cases, and 25,480 Manitobans have recovered.
Manitoba completed 1,410 tests for COVID-19 on Monday. Since February 2020, 480,277 tests have been completed.
OUTBREAK DECLARED AT WINNIPEG HOSPITAL
Manitoba’s COVID-19 bulletin also reported a new outbreak at a Winnipeg hospital.
Unit B5 at St. Boniface Hospital has an active COVID-19 outbreak. The ward has moved to the critical or red level on the pandemic response plan.
Manitoba also reported the outbreaks at Oakview Personal Care Home in Winnipeg and Rest Haven Personal Care Home in Steinbach have both been declared over.
RAPID TESTS IN MANITOBA
Manitoba has also received roughly 400,000 rapid COVID-19 tests from the federal government over the past several months, Atwal said.
He said rapid testing has been integrated into various settings since the fall, such as remote communities and long-term care facilities dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.
“Those tests seem to be conducive to that,” Atwal said. “We’re continuing to look at other types of rapid testing devices. They aren’t as good as our gold standard PCR tests that we use, but they do provide information that really helps out in the acute situation with case and contact management as well.”
Atwal said they’re looking at more situations where they can use the tests.