More ICU patients shipped to Ontario as Manitoba reports 461 new COVID-19 cases

Three more COVID-19 patients have been shipped from intensive care units in Manitoba to hospitals in Ontario.

Those patients were moved on Saturday as the province works to free up critical care space in its hospitals, a spokesperson for Manitoba Shared Health said in an email.

They bring the number of Manitoba intensive care patients moved to Ontario to 10. More are tentatively scheduled to be shipped out later Sunday, the spokesperson said, though they did not specify how many.

Since Tuesday, Manitoba has moved five patients to Thunder Bay, two to Sault Ste. Marie, and one each to Ottawa, North Bay and Windsor, the spokesperson said.

“Efforts to increase critical care capacity locally continue,” the Shared Health spokesperson said.

“We are grateful to our colleagues in Ontario for their partnership and support in the care of Manitobans with COVID-19.”

A hospital official in Ontario previously said facilities in that province have made space for up to 20 patients from Manitoba.

There are now 316 people hospitalized in Manitoba after contracting COVID-19, the province said in a news release on Sunday. That’s an increase of 18 people since Saturday.

Of the 120 people in intensive care across Manitoba, 74 have or had COVID-19, the Shared Health spokesperson said. That number does not include the patients moved to Ontario.

Ten of the patients still in Manitoba’s intensive care units after getting COVID-19 are under age 40, the spokesperson said.

Most new cases in Winnipeg

The province also reported 461 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and the death of a man in his 80s linked to the illness. He lived in the Southern Health region, the province’s news release said.

Manitoba has now reported 1,029 deaths linked to COVID-19.

Nearly two-thirds of Sunday’s new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which reported 299 infections and a five-day test positivity rate that dropped slightly to 16.7 per cent from 16.8. In Manitoba, that rate rose to 14.5 per cent from 14.3, the release said.

The rest of the new cases are split between the Southern Health region (which reported 76 new ones), the Prairie Mountain Health region (31), the Northern Health Region (30) and the Interlake-Eastern health region (25).

The province only reports on newly identified cases of more contagious coronavirus variants Tuesday through Saturday, so no additional cases of those strains were announced on Sunday.

As of numbers provided on Saturday, virus variants now make up 2,965 — or nearly 60 per cent — of Manitoba’s 5,072 active COVID-19 cases.

Sites across the province where there were possible public exposures to COVID-19 are listed by region on the province’s website.

Manitoba has announced a total of 48,436 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began last year, including 42,335 people deemed recovered.