292 new COVID-19 cases, 15 more deaths in Manitoba on Wednesday

There are 292 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Wednesday and 15 more people have died from the illness, Manitoba’s chief public health officer says.

The most recent deaths include two people in their 40s, Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference on Wednesday: a man from the Winnipeg health region and a woman linked to the outbreak at Kin Place in Oakbank.

Two people in their 50s are also among the latest fatalities: a man from the Interlake-Eastern health region and a woman linked to the outbreak at Concordia Hospital’s N3W unit.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate, a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive, is now 13.6 per cent, Roussin said, down from 14.2 per cent on Tuesday. In Winnipeg, that rate is now 13.7 per cent.

There are 328 infectious people in hospital with COVID-19, including 46 in intensive care. Those numbers are up slightly from 311 in hospital and 44 in intensive care on Tuesday.

Outbreaks at four sites across the province have now been declared over: St. Paul’s Residence in The Pas, the Flin Flon Personal Care Home, the Winnipegosis Personal Care Home and the Bethesda Regional Health Centre medicine unit in Steinbach.

The deaths announced Wednesday, which bring the province’s total fatalities linked to the illness to 523, include eight connected to outbreaks at care homes and health-care sites across the province: Fairview Home in Brandon, the Swan Valley Health Centre, and Charleswood Care Centre, St. Norbert Personal Care Home and Park Manor Care Home in Winnipeg.

One previously announced case was removed from Manitoba’s totals on Wednesday because of a data correction, bringing the total number of cases identified in the province to 21,826.

More to come

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Health officials will give an update on COVID-19 in the province hours after the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given to Manitobans.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, and Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, will speak at a news conference at 12:30 p.m. CT. 

CBC News will live stream the update here and on social media. 

The province reached another grim milestone Tuesday, topping 500 deaths related to COVID-19 after nine more deaths were announced. 

Health officials announced 272 new cases of the illness Tuesday. The provincial test positivity rate rose to 14.2 per cent, the first time it has been above 14 per cent since Nov. 28.

Though the province continues to face triple-digit daily case increases, a strained health-care system and high test positivity rates, health officials said Tuesday there are some signs of hope. 

Transmission of the virus is starting to decline, showing that restrictions are working, Atwal said.