Manitoba reported 56 new COVID-19 cases and one death from the illness on Thursday.
A man in his 30s from the Southern Health region is the latest death, bringing the total number of Manitobans who have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began to 1,167, the province said in a news release.
Of the 56 new cases, 22 are in the Winnipeg health region, 14 are in the Interlake–Eastern health region and 13 are in the Southern Health region.
Single-digit increases in cases were reported in the Northern Health Region (four) and Prairie Mountain Health region (three).
There are 105 Manitobans in hospital with COVID-19 — the same number as on Wednesday — but the number of people in intensive care dipped to 28 from 29.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate has dropped to 3.3 per cent, down from 3.5 per cent on Wednesday. Winnipeg’s rate is now 2.8 per cent, down from 2.9 per cent.
There were 1,552 COVID-19 tests completed on Wednesday, bringing the total number since early February 2020 to 861,334.
Sharp drop in active cases
There have been a total of 57,322 COVID-19 cases reported in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic.
The number of active cases in Manitoba plunged from 916 on Wednesday to 537 in Thursday’s update.
That includes a sharp drop in the number of active cases linked to variants of concern, which went from 595 on Wednesday to 285 on Thursday.
The total number of COVID-19 cases identified as stemming from a coronavirus variant of concern since the start of the pandemic is now 16,431, an increase of 46, according to the province’s variant of concern dashboard.
Of the newly identified variant cases reported Thursday, 17 involve the B.1617.2 (delta) variant. The B.1.1.7, or alpha, variant has been linked to five more cases, while another 24 are now connected with an as-yet-unspecified variant.
No new deaths linked to variant cases were reported.
The majority of active cases involving variants of concern — 151 — involve an unspecified coronavirus variant.
There are 85 active cases linked to the alpha variant, 46 to the delta variant, two to the P.1 (gamma) variant, and one with the B.1.351 (beta) variant.