Vast majority of COVID cases in province outside of Winnipeg after recent dramatic change

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A dramatic shift in the location of Manitobans with the novel coronavirus has occurred in recent weeks, with Winnipeg no longer the epicenter of the province’s pandemic.

As of April 4, with the virus at its peak in Manitoba, the Winnipeg health region had 127 of the province’s 163 active cases.

As of Thursday, it represented just 13 of Manitoba’s 70 active cases. The Interlake-Eastern Health region led the way with 40, Prairie Mountain Health had 10, and there were seven in the Southern Health Region.

On a per capita basis, the movement outside of Winnipeg is more astonishing.

Since April 4, Winnipeg has fallen from 16.21 active cases per 100,000 population to just 1.66 cases. Only the northern health region, with zero active cases, has a per capita rate below that.

In contrast, the Interlake East health region saw the rate of active cases per 100,000 population climb to 30.27 from 7.57 at the start of April.

The huge change has happened over the past month.

As of May 1, Winnipeg had 16 of the province’s 22 active cases, and Interlake East had just one. As of June 1, Winnipeg had four of the eight cases, with the remaining four belonging to Southern Health. As of July 1, Winnipeg had eight of ten active cases, with the other two again in the Southern Health Region.

Health officials reported six new coronavirus infections in Manitoba on Friday, including only one in Winnipeg. Two were in Prairie Mountain Health Region and three were in Interlake East Health Region.

The province said six Manitobans were in hospital with COVID-19, five of whom were in intensive care (up from four enrolled in ICUs on Thursday).

The number of active cases fell to 70 on Friday from 76 the day before.

The current five-day test positivity rate is 0.40%. As of Thursday, 1,073 additional lab tests were performed, bringing the total since February to 88,621.

Health officials have informed that the potential exposure of one of the cases reported on Friday may have occurred at the Blazers Mini Mart in Minnedosa on July 25. In addition, an exhibition of a case identified Thursday may have taken place at Asian Spices of Brandon on July 22 and 23.

Those considered to be close contacts of a COVID-19 case will be contacted by public health officials and advised to self-isolate. Others who were at these sites on those days do not need to self-isolate but should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.

An updated list of coronavirus testing sites available for the holiday weekend is available at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/testing.html#list.

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Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislative journalist
Larry Kusch wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper writing workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a college student praising the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Read the full biography

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