There are 11 more deaths and 111 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Tuesday.
It’s the first day the province has had a double-digit number of deaths since Jan. 7, when there were 12. The total number of COVID-related deaths in Manitoba is now 783.
Due to a data correction, one death that had been reported earlier has been removed.
Despite the bump into double digits for deaths, the daily case count is seven fewer than on Monday. That is a trend in the right direction compared to November, when daily case counts ranged from the low 400s to as high as 546.
As well, the province’s five-day test positivity rate continues to decline, though just 1,462 tests were done. It is now 9.9 per cent, compared to 10.6 on Monday. The rate is 7.4 per cent in Winnipeg.
As a result, the province is in a position to consider loosening current restrictions, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Brent Roussin said.
“The actions and hard work and sacrifices of Manitobans has continued to make a difference,” he said. “This means we can start looking at what reopening might look like.”
The province announced late Tuesday morning it is looking at allowing two people (family or friends) to visit a household, allowing outdoor visits of up to five people plus members of a household on private property, and allowing all stores to open for the sale of all products but with occupancy limits. Barbers and hairstylists might also be allowed to open with occupancy limits.
The proposed changes could come into effect as early as Friday, when the current extension of code red orders is set to expire, Roussin said. An announcement on that will come in the next few days.
Given the high case counts in northern Manitoba and many First Nations, the proposed changes would most likely only apply to communities in the Winnipeg, Southern Health, Interlake-Eastern and Prairie Mountain Health regions, a news release said.
“We know we can’t get back to where we were in late October or November, and we know that the more interactions there are, the more chance of this virus being transmitted,” Roussin said.
“We know Manitobans are eager, especially businesses, and these restrictions have been difficult, so we have to have a very cautious approach.”
The northern part of the province has been bearing the brunt of most of the new cases over the past week but on Tuesday, the Winnipeg health region has the most single-day cases, with 52. The Northern Health Region has 33.
Another 12 are in the Interlake-Eastern health region, eight are in the Prairie Mountain Health region and six are in the Southern Health region.
Of the 11 deaths, seven are from the Winnipeg health region, including three connected to known outbreaks — a man in his 60s linked to the outbreak at the Southeast Personal Care Home, a woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Deer Lodge Centre Lodge 4 West, and a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Concordia Place.
The others from Winnipeg are three men — in their 50s, 70s and 90s — and a woman in her 90s.
One death — a woman in her 50s — is from the Interlake-Eastern health region and two are from the Southern Health region: a man in his 80s and another in his 90s. The latter is linked to the outbreak at Heritage Life Personal Care Home.
The other death is a man in his 80s from the Prairie Mountain Health region who is linked to the outbreak at the McCreary/Alonsa Health Centre.
Outbreaks have been declared over at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in The Pas, Fernwood Place in Steinbach, Greendale Estate assisted living in Grunthal, as well as at two locations in Winnipeg — Deer Lodge Centre Lodge 2 West and Health Sciences Centre unit WRS3.
A new outbreak has been declared at Donwood Manor in Winnipeg.
There are 279 COVID-19 patients in hospital, which is a reduction of 10 from Monday’s report. There are 37 people in ICU, which is an increase of two.