Manitoba health officials hold media availability on province’s COVID-19 situation

Health officials in Manitoba will face reporter’s questions over the province’s worsening COVID-19 situation Friday.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer and Mantioba’s chief nursing officer, Lanette Siragusa, have scheduled a 12:30 p.m. press conference.

Read more: Manitoba bans outdoor social gatherings as COVID-19 cases reach record highs

Global News will stream the event live in this story.

On Thursday Manitoba reported 603 new novel coronavirus cases  — the province’s highest-ever daily COVID-19 case count.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba announces new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of May long weekend' Manitoba announces new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of May long weekend

Manitoba announces new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of May long weekend

The latest cases come after weeks of rising daily case numbers and dire warnings from health officials that Manitoba’s health-care system would not be able to handle a surge in hospital admissions related to the virus.

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The demand for intensive care in Manitoba has risen so sharply in recent days, three patients were sent to Thunder Bay, Ont., this week to free up beds.

Read more: Manitoba premier, Winnipeg mayor to meet with Trudeau as province’s COVID-19 rates soar

The number of people in intensive care hit a record 131 Wednesday before dropping to 125 Thursday. Before the pandemic, Manitoba’s capacity was 72.

Manitoba has also had the highest per capita rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country in recent days.

Click to play video: 'Answering your COVID-19 questions, May 20' Answering your COVID-19 questions, May 20

Answering your COVID-19 questions, May 20

In response to the rising case counts and swelling ICUs, the Progressive Conservative government tightened restrictions Thursday for the fourth time in the past month by banning virtually all social gatherings, even outdoors.

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Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman were scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the province’s COVID-19 situation Friday.

Read more: Manitoba reports record-setting daily COVID-19 case count, 3 deaths

Meanwhile, officials say all Indigenous people in Manitoba can start booking an appointment for a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on May 24.

As of Thursday, health data shows 1,019 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and 46,916 people have contracted the virus.

–With files from The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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