183 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Saturday, highest daily number since January

Manitoba reported 183 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and three deaths, a provincial news release says.

That marks the highest single-day increase since Jan. 24 — near the end of Manitoba’s second wave of COVID-19. The province announced 222 cases that day, which was also the last Manitoba saw a daily increase above 200.

Most of the new COVID-19 cases announced Saturday were in the Winnipeg health region, which posted 127 new infections.

There are also 24 new cases in the Northern Health region, 13 in Southern Health, 12 in Prairie Mountain Health and seven in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

Two of the three deaths announced on Saturday were men in their 80s the Winnipeg health region, including one death linked to an outbreak at Health Sciences Centre’s Unit GD4.

A man in his 60s from the Northern Health region also died, bringing the total number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in Manitoba to 958.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate went up slightly to 5.3 per cent, from 5.1 per cent on Friday. In Winnipeg, that rate jumped to 5.4 per cent from 4.9.

On Saturday, 710 cases of the more contagious coronavirus variants were reported in Manitoba on the province’s variant dashboard, up from 704 on Friday. Of those, 287 are considered active.

Most of those cases are the B117 variant first seen in the U.K., though the province has also reported a total of 20 cases of the B1351 strain first seen in South Africa and one case of the P1 variant, which has become associated with Brazil.

There are now 128 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, the province said, down by 130 from Friday. Of those, 32 are in intensive care, down by two.

There have now been 35,992 COVID-19 cases identified in Manitoba, of which 1,630 are considered active and 33,404 recovered.

On Friday, 2,828 COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, bringing the number of swabs completed in the province to 619,722 since early February 2020.

Possible exposures to variant

People on board a number of Air Canada flights that landed in Manitoba may have been exposed to variants of concern, the province says.

People on the following flights are asked to monitor for symptoms:

  • April 4: AC045 from Dehli to Vancouver, rows 26-32.
  • April 7: AC8622 from Vancouver to Winnipeg, rows 11-17.
  • April 8: AC265 from Toronto to Winnipeg, at the rear of the plane.

All people visiting or returning to Manitoba are required to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they show symptoms for COVID-19.

More information on other affected flights is listed on the province’s website.

Meanwhile, an outbreak has been declared at Russell Health Centre in Russell and Lions Prairie Manor Personal Care Home in Portage la Prairie.

Outbreaks are now considered over at Grace Hospital Unit 3 south in Winnipeg and the St. Anthony’s Hospital psychiatric unit in The Pas.

Saturday’s update comes after public health officials warned on Friday that highly contagious coronavirus variants are on the rise in Manitoba — and if people don’t start following public health rules, they’ll soon see tighter restrictions.

In the Winnipeg health region alone, the more infectious strains now make up 41 per cent of active COVID-19 cases, a provincial spokesperson said in an email that day.

In the province at large, the variants make up 20 per cent of active cases — a jump from around 15 per cent over the previous three weeks, according to the province’s latest epidemiological data.

Manitoba reported 127 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and no new deaths.