11 more deaths, 327 cases of COVID-19 reported in Manitoba over New Year break

There are 327 more cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths reported in Manitoba on Saturday following a one-day hiatus due to New Year’s Day.

That brings the total number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus to 678, according to the province’s dashboard.

Five of the deaths are connected to long-term care facilities, including two men in their 70s and 80s and a woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg; a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home and a man in his 90s linked to an outbreak at the Deer Lodge Centre, according to a provincial news release.

A number aren’t linked to any known outbreaks, including:

  • Two people from Winnipeg — a man and a woman in their 70s and 80s, respectively.
  • Two people from the Southern health region — a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s.
  • A man in his 60s from the Interlake-Eastern health region.
  • A man in his 50s from the Northern health region.

Nearly half — 213 — of the new cases were reported in Winnipeg. The rest are in the Northern heath region (52), Southern Health region (33), Interlake-Eastern health region (16) and Prairie Mountain Health region (13).

That works out to roughly 163 cases per day, however test numbers are lower than normal because of the holidays.

As of Jan. 2, Manitoba has completed more than 425,000 COVID-19 tests, according to provincial data. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

On New Year’s Eve, 1,486 tests were done, and 1,898 were done the following day.

The number of people in hospital has decreased slightly since the last time provincial data was updated on New Year’s Eve, however the number of people in intensive care has gone up.

There are currently 334 people in hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19, including 239 who are still considered infectious, down from 337 people on Dec. 31, the province said in the news release.

Meanwhile, there are 42 people in intensive care, including 36 who have active cases. That’s up from 37 people in intensive care just three days ago.

The five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of tests that come back positive — is 10.4 per cent provincially, down from 11.2 per cent on Thursday. In Winnipeg, the test positivity rate is 11.1 per cent.

On that day, the acting deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Jazz Atwal, announced six more people had died from the illness and 187 more had been infected.

An outbreak has been declared in the 5U1-3 unit at Seven Oaks General Hospital. (CBC)

Outbreaks in hospital units

The province announced three new outbreaks on Saturday, including two in Winnipeg.

The Seven Oaks General Hospital 5U1-3 unit and Deer Lodge Centre’s Lodge 4 East in Manitoba’s capital and St. Anthony’s General Hospital ACIU in The Pas are all moving to critical or “red” according to the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

Elsewhere, the outbreak at Menno Home Personal Care Home in Grunthal is considered over.

The latest update comes as Manitoba prepares to open its COVID-19 immunization super site at the RBC Convention Centre on Monday. Roughly 3,432 vaccines have been given to date, the province said in a vaccine update on Saturday.

Thousands of appointments have already been made for the week of Jan. 4 to 10 with second-dose appointments slated for Jan. 25 to 31, the update said.

About 3,750 eligible health-care workers have made appointments to get their first dose of the vaccine, and roughly 2,350 spots are still available, the update said.

Health-care workers who can call to book an appointment right now are those who:

  • work in critical care units.
  • work in long-term care facilities (and were born on or before Dec. 31, 1974 — which has been changed from 1972).
  • work in acute care facilities (and were born on or before Dec. 31, 1974 — which has also been changed from 1972).
  • are assigned to work at a COVID-19 immunization clinic or testing site.

People who go to the Convention Centre for their appointment should go in through the main doors on York Avenue, the update said. There will be free indoor parking in the building’s main parkade.

People are asked not to arrive more than 15 minutes before their scheduled time to avoid crowding. There are protocols in place to make sure no one will miss their appointment, but steps are still needed to limit crowds, the update said.

The province said it plans to soon launch a new online dashboard to give statistics about its COVID-19 immunization program.

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