Manitoba’s partial lockdown has moved it to just below worst-case COVID-19 numbers

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General restrictions in Manitoba barely got the province out of its worst-case scenario for daily COVID-19 cases, but have helped avert catastrophic pressure on the medical system, new projections show.

The daily count of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba was on track with its worst-case or “extreme” scenario throughout mid-October and into November, the data showed.

The worst-case or “extreme” scenario predicts what would happen if the province had “minimal restrictions and poor compliance.” That scenario would place the province between 419 and 1,055 cases per day, or an average of 825 cases per day, by December 6, the province’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin said on Friday. .

The daily trend of cases in the province edged down slightly after stricter measures were put in place on November 12, when the entire province moved to red-coded, or critical, restrictions on the Pandemic Response Scale. of the province.

Now case numbers are hovering around the lower end of the “extreme” range, and falling into the “severe” range on certain days, Roussin said.

This slide from the province shows the projected number of new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba under different scenarios. (Government of Manitoba)

However, the province’s high test positivity rate means it’s still too early to tell where the trend is going.

The province’s modeling projected four scenarios for COVID-19: extreme, with minimal restrictions and low compliance, severe, with some restrictions and low compliance, moderate, with more restrictions and good compliance, and controlled, with full restrictions and good compliance.

“We need all Manitobans to come together to reduce these numbers,” Roussin said Friday.

The province’s partial lockdown and health care expansion have helped avoid the worst projections for the health care system, said Shared Health chief nurse Lanette Siragusa.

“We have avoided a crisis,” Siragusa said on Friday.

The province’s hospitalization and intensive care occupancy rate for COVID-19 is in a moderate range, Siragusa said. This scenario predicted the number of Manitobans admitted to hospitals and the occupancy of intensive care units for COVID-19 based on more restrictions and good compliance.

At the worst end of that range, patients with COVID-19 would have accounted for 100% of the province’s intensive care capacity as of November 23.

This slide from the province shows a projection of the tracking of intensive care unit admissions versus a moderate COVID-19 scenario. (Government of Manitoba)

As it stands, the province is on track to see half of all its intensive care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients this year, Siragusa said.

“Even in the current trajectory, the number of cases is still too high for our health system to withstand the resulting pressure on hospitals and intensive care units for days and weeks,” she said. declared.

“The restrictions in place now attempt to avoid a catastrophic impact on the capacity of our healthcare system. ”

Manitoba’s hospital occupancy rate follows the “severe” scenario, said Lanette Siragusa, chief nurse of shared health. (Government of Manitoba)

The total hospital occupancy rate – which covers all clinical beds in the province’s health system rather than the daily number of COVID-19 hospitals – is too high, Siragusa said. The province is currently in the “severe” or second worst case scenario for clinical bed occupancy.

It is even with increased capacity in hospitals in the province, which went from 2,457 medicine and surgery beds in March 2020 to 3,084 in November.

“Our healthcare workers and clinical leaders work daily to increase our ability to care for those who may need us,” Siragusa said.

“But these case counts over the past month have put us on a collision course to quickly reach the limits of what our healthcare system can handle. ”

Current Manitoba Public Health orders will expire on December 11. Roussin said on Friday that more information on future restrictions would likely come next week.

Roussin pointed out that models are mathematical tools and are difficult to interpret on their own.

The province’s modeling aims to simulate the real-life lives of Manitobans, including relationships and socialization, disease progression in those affected, and decisions about whether to get tested if symptoms occur.

Modeling released on Friday shows projections for the numbers through the end of December.

See the new projections here:

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