4 more deaths, 118 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba as Roussin hints at easing restrictions

Manitoba announced 118 cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Monday, the 11th consecutive day the province has recorded single-digit deaths.

The latest ones are connected to current outbreaks, including a man in his 80s at the Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home in Opaskwayak Cree Nation in the Northern Health Region.

The other three deaths are in the Winnipeg health region — a man in his 60s linked to the outbreak at the Southeast Personal Care Home, a woman in her 70s linked to the outbreak at Concordia Place and a woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Health Sciences Centre WRS3.

Of the 118 cases, 46 are in the northern region, which has been the location of many of the new cases in the past week.

The Winnipeg Health Region is nearly equal with 45.

There are 11 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region, nine in the Southern Health region and seven in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.6 per cent provincially and 7.3 per cent in Winnipeg.

(CBC)

“The actions and hard work by Manitobans continues to make a difference. We see our numbers having some way of fluctuating over the days, but we see they’re headed in a good direction,” said Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

“Today’s numbers continue to be encouraging [but] we’re definitely not out of the woods. We certainly still have a long way to go before we can return to normal.”

New outbreaks have been declared at Golden Door Geriatric Centre and Golden West Centennial Lodge in Winnipeg. Both sites have been moved to the critical (red) level on the province’s pandemic response system.

Meanwhile, outbreaks are now declared over at Heritage Lodge personal care home and Calvary Place Personal Care Home, both in Winnipeg.

Loosening restrictions

There are 3,108 active cases in the province (officials have said that number is inflated due to a data entry backlog) and 289 people are in hospital with COVID-19 — a drop of three from Sunday.

The number in intensive care has dropped to 35 on Monday from 39 on Sunday.

The total number of deaths in Manitoba due to COVID-19 is now 773.

Roussin was asked if the decrease in hospitalizations was enough to begin easing the current code red public health orders.

While the numbers are trending in the right direction, there are still many reasons to remain cautious, he said.

“There is still that demand on our health-care system. It is just now getting back to some of those elective procedures [which had been suspended],” Roussin said.

“So we do have to be cautious, but we do think that we’re in a position to start with some loosening of the restrictions.

“We’ll have some more details on that as the week goes on.”

The existing orders expire Friday night.

Last week, the province launched an online survey to gauge public perspective on the risk of contracting COVID-19 and how comfortable people are with easing some restrictions.

Roussin couldn’t say on Monday how many people have filled it out but “from initial reports, Manitobans were highly engaged.”

He expects more details to be released tomorrow or soon after and said he would give businesses notice as early as possible of any changes that affect them.

Roussin was asked if the new orders might include an increase in faith gatherings but said he didn’t want to speculate on the specifics.

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