3 deaths, 170 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba as hospitalizations continue to rise

A man in his 40s from the Interlake-Eastern Health region is one of three more people with COVID-19 who have died in Manitoba, while 170 more people have tested positive for the virus, Manitoba public health officials announced Wednesday.

A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg and a woman in her 80s from the Interlake-Eastern Health region linked to an outbreak at the Misericordia Place care home are the two other people who died. 

That brings the total death toll in the province to 61 since the start of the pandemic.

The number of hospitalizations continued to rise, with 89 people in hospital, 19 in intensive care. That’s up from 83 on Tuesday, when 15 people were in ICU.

Manitoba’s five-day test-positivity rate — the rolling average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is 7.3, down slightly from the record high of 7.5 on Tuesday. 

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A day after Manitoba set new records for daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and amid growing outbreaks at two hospitals that have so far led to at least four deaths, the province’s top public health officials will address the latest on the pandemic.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Manitoba Shared Health, will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. CT. CBC News will live stream the briefing here.

The province recorded its highest number of new cases in a single day on Tuesday, reporting 184 people tested positive for the virus. 

The number of people in hospital has more than doubled in a little more than a week, growing from 29 on Oct. 19 to 83 on Tuesday.

Manitoba has 170 new cases of COVID-19, health officials announced Wednesday. (CBC)

Health Minister Cameron Friesen tried to quell fears that hospitals were on the brink of being overwhelmed at a news conference on Tuesday.

Case numbers are trending in the wrong direction, but the health system still has capacity, he said.

“We are planning accordingly. We are not at a breaking point,” Friesen said.

Three people linked to an outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital have died as of Tuesday, and a patient linked to an outbreak at Victoria General Hospital died after being transferred to St. Boniface.

As of Tuesday, the St. Boniface outbreak had led to infections in 23 patients and 10 staff, while the Victoria outbreak infected 19 patients and 19 staff. 

The province announced a 19th death in an outbreak at the Parkview Place personal care home, where 104 residents have tested positive in the facility that housed 221 people as of last Friday.

Revera, the for-profit company that runs Parkview Place, also operates the Maples Long Term Care Home, where 69 of the facility’s 200 residents had tested positive by Tuesday, up from 35 on Monday.