53 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba as streak of low daily case numbers continues

There are 53 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, public health officials say, continuing a streak of double-digit daily case counts.

Most of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which had 31. There are 12 in the Northern Health Region, four in the Southern Health region, three in the Prairie Mountain Health region and three in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

The daily case tally on Monday is the lowest in the province since Oct. 18. There were 80 new COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday and 82 cases reported on Saturday. 

Although COVID-19-related hospitalizations rose to 271 in the province, the number of people in intensive care dropped to 34, which is the lowest since late November.

That’s good news, but people still need to be careful, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said at a news conference.

“Our numbers today are again trending in the right direction.… This is all the result of the work of Manitobans,” he said.

“We can see that the restrictions that we have in place are quite tough. They affect Manitobans to different degrees but they are working. The numbers show us that they’re effective, they’re working, and [that] has put Manitobans back in the position to continue our slow, cautious reopening.”

WATCH | Roussin urges Manitobans to stay home:

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said Monday people who can work from home should keep doing so, even as COVID-19 numbers improve in the province. 0:50

There are four more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths related to the novel coronavirus to 850.

Of those, three aren’t connected to any known outbreaks — two women, one in her 60s and one in her 70s, in the Northern Health Region, and a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region.

A woman in her 80s connected to an outbreak at the Morris General Hospital also died.

The current five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of tests that come back positive — is down slightly to 5.9 per cent provincially. In Winnipeg, that number is up slightly to 4.2 per cent.

Outbreaks announced

The province announced a number of outbreaks in Winnipeg on Monday.

Actionmarguerite St. Boniface, Seven Oaks General Hospital Unit 3U1-3 and St. Amant Health and Transition Services have been moved to red or critical on the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

Outbreaks are considered over at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in Dauphin, Salem Home in Winkler and Extendicare Tuxedo Villa personal care home and Seven Oaks General Hospital Unit 4U8-12 in Winnipeg.

The province says 1,373 tests were completed on Sunday, bringing the total number of lab tests done to 490,879. 

WATCH | Don’t look for ways to get around public health orders, Roussin says:

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said Monday the province’s COVID-19 numbers are moving in the right direction — but he urged the public not to look for ways to get around public health advice in the coming weeks. 0:28

Last week, provincial officials said they were considered relaxing COVID-19 restrictions further to allow restaurants, tattoo parlours, gyms, nail salons and libraries to reopen with limited capacity.

They also are considering allowing places of worship to reopen, increasing capacity for weddings and letting the film industry and photographers resume work.

Manitobans will likely see a draft of the new restrictions on Tuesday, with the new rules to come into effect on Feb. 13.

Roussin cautioned Manitobans not to expect a broad loosening of restrictions.

“When we have loosening of restrictions like we saw in October, we get November numbers, and nothing’s changed since then.”

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | Feb. 8, 2021:

Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Monday, February 8, 2021. 31:14