Health officials say another Manitoban has died from COVID-19 and 163 new cases of the virus have been identified Friday.
The virus’ latest victim is a man in his 80s who had been a resident at Parkview Place Long Term Care Home in downtown Winnipeg.
His death is the 15th connected to an ongoing deadly outbreak at the Edmonton Street personal care home where 26 staff and 82 residents have reportedly tested positive for the virus.
Numbers on the province’s COVID-19 dashboard show 128 of the new cases are from the Winnipeg Health region where provincial numbers show 1,518 cases remain active. The new cases bring Manitoba’s total number of cases reported since March to 3,935.
Forty-eight Manitobans have now died from COVID-19.
The other cases reported Friday include 19 in the Southern Health region, seven in the Northern health region, eight in the Interlake-Eastern health region, and one in the Prairie Mountain Health region.
Provincial data shows a record-setting 51 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, including eight who are in intensive care.
Further outbreaks declared
Provincial health officials said outbreaks have been declared at several more personal care homes in Winnipeg as of Friday.
The latest outbreaks include:
- Holy Family Personal Care Home
- Concordia Personal Care Home
- Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre Personal Care Home
- Maples Long-Term Care Home
All four facilities have been elevated to red, or critical, on the province’s pandemic response system.
On Thursday an outbreak was also declared at Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg.
The hospital said Thursday evening it’s investigating positive cases linked to the 5N and 5S family medicine units. The outbreak has been declared on Unit 5N after two patients tested positive for the virus, according to the hospital.
A pair of outbreaks have also been declared at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg after several patients and staff tested positive in connection to outbreaks linked to the hospitals’ E5 and E6 medicine units.
Both hospitals will remain open and clinics and procedures will continue as usual, but new patient admissions to affected units have been suspended.
Provincial data shows there are currently 1,855 active cases of the virus across the province and 2,032 have recovered, although Manitoba’s chief public officer of health, Dr. Brent Roussin, has said the number of active cases is likely lower due to a backlog in the province’s tracking capabilities.
The latest cases bring Manitoba’s current five-day test positivity rate to 6.5 per cent, according to provincial health data.
The province — and Winnipeg in particular — has seen a sharp increase in cases over the last two months after going weeks without any new infections over the summer.
On Thursday — when four new deaths and 147 new cases were reported — the province announced further restrictions in northern Manitoba and said all schools in the north and Winnipeg would move into the orange, or restricted level, on the province’s pandemic response system.
Roussin expressed concern over increasing infections in the northern region and announced that, starting Monday, he is putting the area under the same elevated restrictions as Winnipeg, which include closing casinos, bingo halls and limiting occupancy in restaurants.
Extra measures are also being put in place for schools in the Winnipeg area and the north starting Monday. They include cancelling field trips, banning choirs and wind instruments and requiring substitute teachers to wear medical masks.
Earlier in the day Friday the province announced municipal bylaw officers now have power to enforce public health orders in an effort to curb rising case numbers.
The move comes days after the province increased fines for people and businesses who ignore public health orders.
Under the changes which went into effect Wednesday, the fine for individuals who break self-isolation orders or violate rules such as a cap on public gatherings has jumped to $1,296 from $486.
Provincial testing numbers show 2,642 tests for COVID-19 were completed Thursday, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 236,023.
–With files from The Canadian Press
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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