2 more deaths at Parkview Place as Manitoba sees 161 new cases of COVID-19

There are 161 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and four new deaths on Sunday, including two at a personal care home, according to a provincial news release.

That brings the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 54.

Two of the latest deaths — a woman in her 90s and a man in his 70s — are linked to the outbreak at Winnipeg’s Parkview Place.

That’s the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in the province with 17 deaths to date.

The two other deaths are a man in his 50s and a a woman in her 80s.

Of the new cases, 110 are in the Winnipeg health region, 30 are in the Southern Health region, 10 are in the Interlake-Eastern health region, seven are in the Northern health region and four are in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

There are 2,053 active cases, while 2,142 people have recovered from the virus.

Possible exposures and outbreaks

Public health officials are warning that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 was at a funeral in Norway House on Tuesday while they were infectious, but didn’t have symptoms. 

People who were at the funeral should self-monitor for symptoms and, if they do develop, should self-isolate and seek testing.

Public health officials are reaching out to close contacts directly.

Meanwhile, outbreaks were announced Sunday in two Swan Valley health-care facilities.

The Swan Valley Health Centre and the Swan Valley Lodge personal care home are both moving to red — or critical — on the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

Additional precautions are being taken, officials say, including visitor restrictions at the personal care home.

Record hospitalizations for second consecutive day

There are 77 people in hospital, with 15 in intensive care, setting a new record for the province for the second day in a row. The day before, there were 65 people in hospital with 10 people in intensive care.

Officials say 2,362 COVID-19 tests were completed on Friday and an additional 2,252 on Saturday. The current five-day test positivity rate is 6.9 per cent.

As of Saturday, there are three COVID-19 outbreaks at St. Boniface Hospital. One person died, the hospital confirmed. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

On Saturday Manitoba announced 153 new cases of COVID-19, along with two more deaths related to the illness, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 50.

Meanwhile, the outbreaks at St. Boniface Hospital are growing.

Thirty-one people linked to the outbreaks — 22 patients and nine workers — have now tested positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, the hospital said in a statement on its website on Saturday night.

One patient died after contracting the virus, the hospital reported.

On Wednesday — the last time the hospital gave an update on the situation — 11 patients and five staff had tested positive. 

There are outbreaks in three units — B5, E5 and E6.

New public health restrictions in place Monday

Starting on Monday, a series of new public health restrictions are being put in place in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Northern Health region is moving to the orange, or the “restricted” level. The decision was made in consultation with municipal and First Nations leaders in the region, according to Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.

The rules coming to northern Manitoba are the same as those already in place in the Winnipeg area, including a five-person cap on gatherings.

In addition, casinos and other sites with live entertainment licenses will have to close, many businesses will have to cut occupancy to 50 per cent, and a slew of other sites will have to keep patrons’ contact information for three weeks to help with contact tracing.

There are a number of new rules for schools in the metro Winnipeg area and in the Northern health region.

Schools in the orange regions will have to ensure two metres of physical distance between students “to the greatest extent possible,” according to new rules.

The province is advising schools to reconfigure classrooms and move around furniture to make extra room, along with repurposing common areas, libraries, multi-purpose rooms and empty classrooms.

Previously, the province had said that one-metre distance was the minimum requirement in classrooms. 

Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 can shift to temporary remote learning.