Manitoba exceeds COVID-19 test positivity rate by 3% with 25 new cases identified

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Manitoba’s five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is now 3.1%, according to health officials, the highest proportion of tests that have come back positive since the start of the pandemic.As of Wednesday, 25 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of active cases in Manitoba to 408.

The test positivity rate is high due to positive results linked to targeted testing in known clusters in Manitoba, the province’s daily press release says.

Among Wednesday’s new cases, there are nine in the Winnipeg health region, eight in the Prairie Mountain health region and one in the Interlake East health region, the statement said.

There are seven new cases in the Southern Health Region, including one related to Bethesda Place Personal Care Home outbreak in Steinbach, Manitoba, the release said. The province did not say whether the new case affects a resident or staff at the nursing home, where a resident with COVID-19 recently died.

A total of eight people connected to the care home are now confirmed to have contracted the virus, the statement said.

Public health officials are still investigating new cases and will only release further information if there is a risk to public health, the statement said.

This is the first time that the test positivity rate has exceeded 3% in Manitoba, which, according to Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial administrator of public health, would suggest significant community transmission and could lead the province to bring back restrictions to slow down the virus. spread.

On Monday, Roussin said that was still on the table – but downplayed the importance of the record rate.

“It’s a bit biased when a lot of that proportion of positive tests is related to tight clusters,” he said.

“It’s a bit misleading, that number, when it’s that high. “

Dr Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, has previously said a test positivity rate above 3% would be concerning, but on Monday Roussin downplayed the significance of the record rate, saying the Most of the new cases are related to known clusters. . (John Woods / The Canadian Press)

There are eight people with COVID-19 in hospital in Manitoba, including one in intensive care, the statement said.

Public health officials also announced three other possible exposures to COVID-19: two in Brandon, Man., And one in Wasagaming, Man. The risk of transmission is low, but people are given the information they need to assess their own risk, the statement said.

One of them was at the GoodLife Fitness Gym at 1570 18th St. in Brandon on August 18-19 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on both days.

Another was at the Coffee Culture Café and Eatery at 510 First St. in Brandon on August 18 from 2 to 8 p.m.

The third location is the Foxtail Café on Highway 10 and Victor Avenue in Wasagaming on August 11, 14 and 17. on the province’s website when they are available.

Earlier Wednesday morning Premier Brian Pallister said he was not fazed by the province country leader in case of active COVID-19 per capita.

“I didn’t, as you all remember, run any victory laps when we were last on COVID numbers, and neither will I lose my trust in our health officials at this point. », He declared during a television news. conference.

“What gives me confidence is knowing that we have capable and intelligent people in this province who will put us back on the right track.

Pallister reminded Manitobans to return to the fundamentals of physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and called on people to stop spreading misinformation that contradicts advice given by public health officials.

He said he heard of several cases of people in Manitoba having a tantrum when asked to wear a face mask in public places that need them, and he reiterated the benefits of wearing masks in spaces where distance is not possible. .

“We are not inventing science. Science is evolving and ongoing research is advancing our understanding of COVID, ”he said.

“I just encourage people who are not health experts not to [to] position itself as such. I think it’s dangerous. ”

To date, 622 people with COVID-19 in Manitoba have recovered from the disease and 13 have died.

The latest COVID-19 death in the province was the Bethesda Place resident, a woman in her 90s whose death was announced Tuesday.

Four more deaths from COVID-19 in the province have occurred in the past two weeks. Previously, no disease-related deaths had been recorded in Manitoba since 22nd of July.

As of Tuesday, 1,206 COVID-19 tests were conducted in Manitoba, bringing the total number done since the start of February to 129,409.

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