349 new COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths in Manitoba on Wednesday, province says

There are 349 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Wednesday and nine more people have died of the illness, the province says in a news release.

There are now 303 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Manitoba, the release says, the first time that number has exceeded 300. Of those, 50 are in intensive care.

The deaths announced Wednesday include four linked to known outbreaks: a woman in her 70s connected to the St. Norbert Personal Care Home, a man in his 80s linked to the Buhler Active Living Centre, a woman in her 90s connected to the Rest Haven Nursing Home and a woman in her 90s linked to the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre, the release says.

Also among the deaths announced Wednesday are a man in his 40s, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region and a woman in her 50s and a man in his 80s from the Southern Health region, the release says.

A COVID-19 death previously announced in Manitoba — a man in his 20s — has been removed from the province’s totals because of a data error, the release says, bringing the total death count to 256.

That man is still alive and is currently in isolation, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference.

“I certainly apologize for any confusion that that had caused,” he said.

“We have a lot of safeguards on the data and reviewing of that data, so I remain confident in the numbers that we receive. And we have a process to review and correct when needed.”

Roughly half of Manitoba’s total COVID-19 deaths happened in the last two weeks.

Daily cases in Manitoba are much lower than projections from a few weeks ago suggested they would be, Roussin said. When the province brought in stricter public health orders nearly two weeks ago, projections suggested there could be up to 800 new cases a day in Manitoba by Nov. 22, he said.

“So even though our levels of restriction haven’t brought down the numbers to where we feel we could sustain, it’s very likely that we’re seeing some benefit,” he said. “But we can’t let up. We still have to get these numbers down.”

The five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is now 14 per cent in both Winnipeg and Manitoba at large, the release says.

An outbreak has been declared at Woodhaven Manor in Steinbach and Lions Manor in Winnipeg, both of which have been moved to the critical red level on the pandemic response system, the release says.

Possible COVID-19 exposure sites are listed on the province’s website.

Most of the new cases announced Wednesday — 213 — are in the Winnipeg health region. Another 73 new cases are in the Southern Health region, 30 are in the Northern Health region, 22 are in the Interlake-Eastern health region and 11 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

There have now been 14,907 cases of COVID-19 identified in Manitoba, including 5,893 people who have recovered. Another 8,758 cases are still considered active, though Roussin has previously said that number is skewed because of a data entry backlog.

Starting Wednesday, the COVID-19 test site in Selkirk is moving to the old hospital site at 100 Easton Dr., the news release says. That site will provide walk-in services and will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and appointments can be made by phone or online.

There were 2,614 COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Tuesday, bringing the total number of tests completed in the province since early February to 340,151.

The province announced its highest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases this week, with 546 more posted on Monday.

That update marked the first time cases announced in a single day in Manitoba surpassed 500. It also brought the number of cases identified since the start of the pandemic past 14,000, meaning one in every 100 Manitobans has now contracted the illness.

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