85 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Manitoba on Saturday

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Eighty-five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Manitoba on Saturday, according to a provincial press release.Of the new cases, 68 are in Winnipeg Health Region, five in Southern Health Region, four in Prairie Mountain Health Region, four in Northern Health Region and four in Interlake East Health Region .

The province now reports that 1,572 people have recovered from the disease, while 1,648 cases remain active.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Brent Roussin said on Friday the total of active cases could be skewed due to a backlog of data entry.

There were 28 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Saturday, including five in intensive care. This is up from 25 people hospitalized for the disease on Friday.

Public health officials have also warned of possible exposures in a Winnipeg taxi service.

Anyone who traveled in a Blueline cab – described as a four-door Toyota Prius – from Oct. 3 to 9, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day, should self-monitor for symptoms, the province said.

The province also warned of possible exhibitions at Wolseley School between October 5 and 7. Officials say the risk is low and there is no close contact.

There was possible exposure to COVID-19 at Wolseley School on Clifton Avenue between October 5 and 7, but the risk is considered low. (Sale Lyzaville / CBC)

The latest cases come a day after the province announced tougher rules for Winnipeg and several surrounding municipalities, as the region grapples with the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic.

The new rules, in effect for two weeks starting Monday, will limit gatherings in the Winnipeg area to a maximum of five and force some businesses, like bars and beverage halls, to close.

Manitoba ended a three-day streak of record triple-digit increase in COVID-19 cases on Friday, when 75 new cases were reported.

Also on Friday, an outbreak was declared at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg after two patients contracted COVID-19 in Unit E6.

Additionally, mining company Vale said in a letter to employees on Friday that a worker at its operations in Manitoba had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The case was confirmed on Wednesday, the letter from the company, which operates a nickel mine in Thompson, Man. The risk is considered low, Vale says, because the employee’s role involved limited contact with other employees.

A new COVID-19 testing site in Brandon, which was announced on Friday, opened on Saturday morning.

The Keystone Center site (1175 18th Street) will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It will be able to do up to 120 tests per day once “fully established,” the statement said.

The province says 2,683 tests were carried out on Friday.

The provincial five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate – a moving average of COVID-19 tests that come back positive – was 4.9% on Saturday, after hitting a new high of 5.2% on Friday.

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