4 more deaths, 427 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba

Manitoba posted its second-highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with more deaths linked to outbreaks at Winnipeg hospitals and new outbreaks declared in personal care homes, as the government promised to step up efforts to flatten the curve of the virus’ rapid growth in the province.

Health officials reported four more deaths related to COVID-19 and 427 new cases, beating what had been the second-highest case count in a single day set on Wednesday.

“Right now we’re bearing the brunt of the consequences of behaviours that occurred two, three, four, five, six weeks ago,” Premier Brian Pallister said at a news conference, as he announced new measures to beef up enforcement and ads targeted at young people.

The number of patients in hospital with the illness jumped to 153, up by 13 compared to Wednesday, with 16 of those in intensive care units. Thursday’s jump in the number of hospitalizations is tied for the second-highest single day jump since the start of the pandemic.

The number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 has set a new record every day for more than two weeks now, although the number of ICU patients fell Thursday from a high of 21 on Wednesday.

People between the ages of 20 and 39 make up the largest cohorts in terms of growth of new COVID-19 cases. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Three of the deaths are linked to outbreaks in Winnipeg hospitals. One of those, a woman in her 80s, is connected to the outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital. The other two — a man and a woman, both in their 70s — are connected to the outbreak at Victoria General Hospital. 

A woman in her 50s in the Southern Health region has also died. 

These latest deaths bring Manitoba’s toll since the start of the pandemic to 91.

The province’s test positivity rate — a rolling average of the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — also reached its second-highest point, at 8.9 per cent on Thursday.

The Winnipeg Health region continued to produce the majority of new cases, with 265 reported on Thursday. The Northern Health region had 60 new cases, and there were 55 in the Southern Health region, 32 in the Interlake-Eastern region and 15 in Prairie Mountain Health.

These latest numbers come four days after the Winnipeg region went to the red, or “critical” level of the province’s pandemic response system, while the rest of the province went to the orange, or restricted level.

On Thursday, Pallister announced his government will not move forward with a proposed curfew for the Winnipeg region, saying it would be premature given that the heightened restrictions under the code red only recently came into effect.

Instead, the premier said the province was adding resources to a tip line for people to report violations of public health and emergency orders. He also said the province planned to expand the number of people empowered to hand out fines for those violations.

Much of the growth in cases comes from gatherings, often involving young people, Pallister said.

“Our highest cohort of growth in cases is coming from the under-30 crowd, under-40 as well,” he said.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba has more than tripled in two weeks, from 42 on Oct. 22 to 153 on Nov. 5. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

4 new outbreaks

Peguis First Nation has also moved to the critical level, the province announced on Thursday, after community leaders and health officials observed “a trend of concerning case numbers,” the provincial government said in a news release.

The chief and council have banned public gatherings and ordered people to stay home, except for medical appointments or to send one member of the household to get essential items. Workers in essential services are exempt. 

Non-medical masks must be worn outside the home.

Health officials declared outbreaks in four personal care homes, including at Bethesda Place in Steinbach, where a previous outbreak led to the deaths of four residents.

They also declared outbreaks at the Rest Haven Care Home and Cedarwood Supportive Housing in Steinbach, and the Park Manor Care Home in Winnipeg.

There are now outbreaks at 22 personal care homes in the province, with 410 people infected and 39 deaths.

An outbreak has also been declared in a second unit at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, this time in the GA4 unit. Health officials declared an outbreak in the A4 unit after seven patients tested positive on Wednesday.

A poll by Probe Research suggested that only one-third of Manitobans have confidence in the capacity of hospitals to deal with a surge of COVID-19 cases over the coming weeks.

At Thursday’s news conference, Pallister promised to announce more details on Friday about the province’s plans to deal with that surge.

Outbreaks at the YWCA in Thompson and the Meadowood Manor personal care home in Winnipeg have been declared over.

The cumulative COVID1- case total in Manitoba has doubled in about two weeks, from 3,626 on Oct. 21 to 7,177 on Nov. 5. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

The new cases announced Thursday bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Manitoba to 7,177, after one previously announced case was removed because it was determined to be from out of province.

Provincial data shows there are currently 4,166 active cases in Manitoba, although health officials have said that number is likely inflated because of a backlog clearing recovered cases.

Labs completed 4,055 COVID-19 tests on Wednesday — a new one-day record for Manitoba.

More exposures announced

Manitoba health officials announced numerous new potential exposures in Winnipeg schools on Thursday.

Reston

  • Reston School.

Winnipeg

  • Centre Scolaire Léo-Rémillard:
    • Oct. 26 and 27.
    • Oct. 20 to 28.
  • Collège Louis-Riel:
    • Oct. 26 and 27.
  • Dakota Collegiate:
    • Oct. 19.
    • Oct. 26 to 28.
  • Daniel McIntyre Collegiate:
  • École Belmont:
    • Oct. 27 to 29.
  • École Christine-Lespérance:
    • Oct. 26 and 28.
  • École Garden Grove School:
    • Oct. 23 and 26.
  • École Henri Bergeron:
    • Oct. 27 and 28.
  • École Seven Oaks Middle School:
    • Oct. 19 to 21.
    • Oct. 26 and 27.
  • École South Pointe School:
  • Gladstone School:
    • Oct. 27 to 29.
  • H.C. Avery School:
    • Oct. 19 to 30.
  • Linden Christian School:
  • Montrose School:
    • Oct. 26 to 28.
  • Nelson McIntyre Collegiate:
    • Oct. 26 and 27.
  • Red River Valley Junior Academy:
    • Oct. 26 and 27.
  • Shaftesbury High School:
    • Oct. 26 to 30.
  • Sister Macnamara School:
    • Oct. 26 to 29.
  • South Pointe School:
    • Oct. 26 to 28.
  • St. John’s-Ravenscourt:
    • Oct. 29 and 30.
  • West Kildonan Collegiate:
    • Oct.  27.

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