Public may have been exposed to highly transmissible coronavirus variant at 3 Winnipeg locations

People in Winnipeg might have been exposed to a highly contagious coronavirus variant last weekend, the province says in a news release.

The possible public exposures to a probable case of the B117 variant first identified in the U.K. happened on the following days at these locations:

  • March 5 – Silver Heights Restaurant at 2169 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • March 6 – Chicken Chef Restaurant at Unicity Mall, 3770 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg from 5 to 7 p.m. 
  • March 6 – Garden City Hairstylists in the Garden City Shopping Centre at #143-2305 McPhillips St. in Winnipeg from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Anyone worried they were potentially exposed should call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) to see if they need to be tested for COVID-19, the release says.

The total number of variant cases identified in Manitoba remains 22: 11 of the variant first discovered in the U.K. and 11 of the B1351 variant first identified in South Africa.

The province also reported 91 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths linked to the illness.

More than half of the new cases — 50 — are in the Northern Health Region, the release says. There are also 31 new cases in the Winnipeg health region, while the remaining new infections are split between the Southern Health region (with seven cases), the Prairie Mountain Health region (with two) and the Interlake-Eastern health region (with one).

The latest deaths, which bring Manitoba’s total to 911, included two women from the Winnipeg health region: one in her 60s and one in her 90s. The latter was linked to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Actionmarguerite St. Boniface personal care home.

A man in his 70s from the Northern Health Region has also died after contracting COVID-19, the release says.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate dropped slightly to 3.7 per cent, down from 3.8. In Winnipeg, that rate also dropped to 2.7 per cent, from 2.9.

There are now 156 COVID-19 patients in hospital, down by six from Wednesday. Twenty-two of those people are in intensive care, up by one.

Three previously announced cases were removed from Manitoba’s total due to data correction, bringing the province’s total to 32,509.

Of those, 30,394 people have been deemed recovered and 1,204 cases are still considered active, though health officials have said that number may be inflated by a data entry backlog.

Previously declared outbreaks in Winnipeg at St. Boniface Hospital’s A5 unit and Seven Oaks General Hospital’s 3U1-1 unit are both over, the release says.

There were 2,116 COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Wednesday, bringing the total number of swabs completed in the province since early February 2020 to 544,042.