51 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths reported in Manitoba today

Manitoba has 51 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths Wednesday, the province announced in a news release.

The five-day test positivity rate in Manitoba is now at 3.8 per cent, while in Winnipeg it is at 3.2 per cent. 

All three deaths reported Wednesday were residents of the Winnipeg area. They include a man in his 40s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s.

That brings the number of deaths in the province of people who contracted COVID-19 to 901.

The majority of the new cases — 30 in total — were reported in the northern health region. There were 15 reported in the Winnipeg area, three cases in Interlake–Eastern health region and three cases in the Southern health region. No cases were reported in the  Prairie Mountain Health region Wednesday.

There are currently 186 people in the hospital due to COVID-19, with 24 people in intensive care units. The total number of confirmed cases involving more transmissible

oronavirus variants remains at eight.

The first two cases of B1351, the variant of concern first identified in South Africa, were reported Tuesday, as was an additional case of B117, the variant first identified in the UK. A total of six B117 cases have now been found in Manitoba. 

On Wednesday, health officials announced that they will be delaying the rollout of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines to get more people vaccinated sooner. 

Dr. Joss Reimer, head of Manitoba’s vaccine task force, said there is evidence to suggest that spacing out doses by up to four months appears to still offer high levels of protection.