Many of these new cases are confirmatory tests of rapid tests performed in northern communities, Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health administrator, said at a press conference on Friday. The latest deaths, which include two men in their 50s from the Winnipeg health region and eight other deaths linked to outbreaks in nursing homes and health facilities, bring the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Manitoba to 465, a Roussin declared.
Since the start of the pandemic, about 7.5% of people who have contracted COVID-19 in Manitoba have had serious results, Roussin said. And since Thanksgiving – about two months ago – the death rate in the province from the disease has increased more than nine times, he said.
The COVID-19 hospitalization rate is much higher and has hit First Nations in rural and urban areas hard, Roussin said. About half of those currently hospitalized with the disease are First Nations people, and about one in three new COVID-19 cases are First Nations people, he said.
Just under half of the new cases announced Friday are in the Winnipeg health region (193), while almost a third (136) are in the northern health region. This increase in cases in the North is due to a severe outbreak in Shamattawa First Nation, Roussin said.
The chief of Shamattawa First Nation, where about one in four people have tested positive for the disease, said Thursday members of the Canadian military have completed a reconnaissance mission and more help may be on the way .
Chief Eric Redhead said a request has been made for an additional 60 to 70 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to travel to the remote community of northern Manitoba by plane to help fight COVID-19, including 15 to 20 doctors who would. community welfare checks while delivering groceries to isolated people.
There are now 388 people in the hospital who have or have had COVID-19, Chief Shared Health Nurse Lanette Siragusa said at the press conference.
That includes 298 still in their infectious period and another 90 patients who are past this stage but still need hospital care, she said. The number of infectious people is a number the province has been reporting for months, while the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 who are no longer contagious is information the province has not released on a daily basis.
As of Friday morning, 53 people in intensive care had or had had COVID-19, Siragusa said. That number includes 40 patients who are still infectious and another 13 long-term patients who are no longer contagious but are still very ill, she said.
Forty-eight of the 78 people on ventilators in Manitoba have or have had COVID-19, she said, including eight among long-term COVID-19 patients who are no longer contagious.
Manitoba’s five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate – a moving average of tests that come back positive – is up again to 13.8%. In Winnipeg, the rate fell to 13.2%.
Two previously reported COVID-19 cases were removed from Manitoba’s total on Friday due to a data correction, bringing the total number of cases identified in the province to more than 20,000 for the first time – to 20,392.
To date, 14,410 people are listed as recovered from COVID-19, while 5,517 are still considered active cases – although Roussin said that number is still inflated due to a backlog of data entry.
“It’s something that will continue to improve over time,” he said.
Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported in the acute care unit at Hamiota Health Center and in unit 3U4-7 at Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg.
The latest deaths in Manitoba include two Winnipeg women in their 80s linked to the outbreak at Holy Family Home, Roussin said.
They also include a woman in her 60s linked to the outbreak at Health Sciences Center GD4, a woman in her 80s linked to Charleswood Care Center, a woman in her 90s linked to the Saul Center and Claribel Simkin, a woman in her 90s. years. linked to Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home, a man in the 90th at Rest Haven Nursing Home and a woman in her 100s linked to the Villa Youville Personal Care Home.
The other deaths announced Friday are a man in his 60s from Interlake East Health Region and three people from Winnipeg Health Region: a woman and a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s.
There are 43 new cases in Interlake East Health Region, 40 in Southern Health Region and 35 in Prairie Mountain Health Region.
Starting Jan. 4, the Hanover school division will return to the restricted orange level of the pandemic response system, Roussin said, joining other school divisions in the province. Hanover will remain at Critical Red until the holiday break.
Possible exposures to COVID-19 in public places are listed by region on the province’s website.
Earlier this week, officials announced that the first 1,950 doses of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Manitoba next week.
These doses, which officials say are sufficient for around 900 people, will be reserved for health workers in intensive care units.
More details on the vaccine deployment in Manitoba are expected to be announced next week, Roussin said Thursday.
The province also announced earlier this week that it would extend ongoing public health orders through January 8, with a few exceptions, including allowing drive-thru and letting thrift stores reopen.
As of Thursday, 2,723 COVID-19 tests were carried out in Manitoba, bringing the total number of tests carried out in the province since the beginning of February to 383,404.