4 new COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba; province reports highest single-day case count since December

WINNIPEG — Four more Manitobans have died from COVID-19, and the province has reported more than 350 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday for the first time since December.

The deaths include a woman and man, both in their 50s in the Prairie Mountain Health Region, along with a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s from Winnipeg.

The death of the man in the Prairie Mountain Health Region is linked to the B.1.1.7 variant of concern, along with both deaths in Winnipeg. Manitoba has reported 16 deaths linked to variants of concern.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Manitoba is 986.

Manitoba also announced 363 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 40,442 since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. Six previous cases were removed from the total due to a data correction.

The last time the province reported a single-day total of more than 300 cases was on Dec. 18, when 350 cases were reported. Thursday’s case count is also the highest single-day total since Dec. 11, 2020, when 447 cases were reported in Manitoba.

Winnipeg’s test positivity rate is 10.4 per cent, while the provincial test rate is 9.1 per cent. The last time Winnipeg’s test positivity rate was in double digits was January 8, when it was 10.1 per cent.

The majority of new cases were in Winnipeg, with 263 cases reported. The Northern Health Region had 34 cases, the Prairie Mountain Health Region had 28, the Southern Health Region had 23 and 15 cases were reported in the Interlake-Eastern Health Region.

There are 123 people with active cases of COVID-19 in hospital, including 40 people in intensive care units. In addition, 62 people hospitalized are no longer infectious with COVID-19 but still require care, while 12 patients are no longer infectious, but still need critical care.

Manitoba currently has 2,732 active cases and 36,724 people have recovered. The province moved 206 active cases to recovered following reviews of active case information.

MORE THAN 3,000 VARIANTS OF CONCERN IN MANITOBA

Manitoba has crossed the 3,000 mark for variants of concern, adding 298 new cases to bring the total to 3,003 as of Thursday. Of the variant cases, 1,025 cases are active and 1,962 people have recovered.

The B.1.1.7 variant remains the dominant variant in Manitoba, with 1,897 confirmed cases. The B.1351 variant cases remained at 22. The number of P1 variant cases remained unchanged at 15, and 1,069 remain uncategorized.

OPPOSITION PARTIES DEMAND MORE ACTION FROM PROVINCE

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said Thursday’s numbers were “concerning” and “scary.”

“We find ourselves in a position where some of those numbers are higher than they were when we went into Code Red during a very serious part of the second wave,” he said.

“It’s clear the provincial government needs to take action. It’s clear the government needs to take more steps to stop the community spread, or at least slow down the community spread.”

Kinew once again called for the province to release its modelling data for COVID-19 and information about where transmission and community spread is occurring. He said public health restrictions need to be put in place that will best respond to the current spread.

“In the absence of the data, we’re flying blind,” he said. “We could potentially see restrictions imposed as tightly as anything we saw in the second wave, but without the data, how do we know that it is actually going to target where the spread is happening?”

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont has called for a circuit-breaker lockdown in an attempt to reduce infections.

“At this point, we are in the third wave, it appears to be accelerating, and if it’s accelerating, we have to do more to stop it,” he said.

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