WINNIPEG -- Provincial health officials announced three new deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 971.

Two of the deaths are people in their 20s; a man in his 20s from Winnipeg who has been linked to an unspecified variant of concern, and a woman in the Northern Health Region.

The other death was a woman in her 100s from the Southern Health Region linked to the B.1.1.7 variant.

The province also announced 189 new cases and the test positivity rate sits at 7.5 per cent in Manitoba, and 8.4 per cent in Winnipeg.

Officials did note that three previously announced cases were removed which brings the total to 38,211 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The province also reported 47 new variant of concern cases. Manitoba has had 1,688 variant cases and there are 656 cases active.

The B.1.1.7 variant continues to be the most dominant with 1,171 cases, there are 488 unspecified cases, 20 of the B.1.351 variant, and nine cases of the P.1 variant.

There have been six deaths connected to variants.

The spread of the B.1.1.7 variant has mostly been linked to close contacts with 717.

Manitoba has 2,206 active cases and 35,034 people have recovered.

Hospitals have 78 people with active COVID-19, 25 of those people are in ICU. Another 56 people have recovered from COVID-19 but still require care, including five patients in intensive care.

There was a spike in completed tests on Tuesday with 3,239 completed, bringing the total to 653,076 since February 2020.