Manitoba reports 211 new cases of COVID-19 and one death on Tuesday, and 63 new cases of more contagious variants have been identified.
It’s the highest single-day new case count since Jan. 24, near the end of Manitoba’s second wave of COVID-19.
A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Russell Health Centre died, a provincial news release says.
Most of the new COVID-19 cases announced Tuesday were in the Winnipeg health region, which has 138 new infections. There are also 27 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 25 in the Northern Health Region, 14 in the Interlake-Eastern health region and seven in the Southern Health region.
There have now been 36,470 COVID-19 cases identified in Manitoba, of which 1,783 are considered active and 33,727 recovered.
The number of more contagious coronavirus variants is also on the rise.
The 63 new cases of variants of concern were reported on the province’s variant dashboard, bringing the total to 774. Of those, 238 are considered active.
Most of those cases are the B117 variant first seen in the U.K., though the province has also reported a total of 20 cases of the B1351 strain first seen in South Africa and one case of the P1 variant, which has become associated with Brazil.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate hit six per cent, from 5.7 per cent on Monday. That’s the highest its been since the beginning of February.
In Winnipeg, that rate jumped to 6.3 per cent from 5.7 the day before.
On Monday, 2,194 COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, bringing the number of swabs completed in the province to 627,113 since early February 2020.
In the last two weeks, there have been 211 cases of COVID-19 in schools, including 178 in students and 54 cases involving variants of concern.
There are still 132 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, the province said. Of those, 33 are in intensive care, up by three since Monday.
Vaccine eligibility expanded
Manitoba also announced Tuesday that general eligibility to be immunized at a supersite or pop-up clinic has been lowered to 52 or older and First Nations people 32 or older.
So far, 350,977 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been given. Just over 26 per cent of eligible adults have received at least one dose.
On Monday, the province announced Manitobans 40 and older are now eligible to get the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine from pharmacies and doctors’ offices.
WATCH | Mad scramble at pharmacies as people clamour to get coronavirus vaccine:
That led to a mad scramble as people rushed to get the vaccine.
Tim Smith of Pharmacists Manitoba expects about 5,000 people a day will be innoculated, using up the province’s supply of AstraZeneca within a week.
Manitobans can find the most convenient place to get the Astra-Zeneca vaccine by going to the province’s website.
The province issued a warning about a number of possible exposures to COVID-19 on Winnipeg Transit earlier this month.
Most of the exposures occurred in the early morning from April 9 to 16. More detailed information can be found on the province’s website.
Meanwhile, outbreaks are now considered over at Grassroots Early Learning and Child Care Centre in Thompson, Stony Mountain Institution and Flin Flon Personal Care Home.
The update comes as Manitoba tightens its COVID-19 restrictions in what the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin described as the “last chance” to flatten the curve of the third wave and avoid a full lockdown.
Indoor gathering restrictions have reverted to two designated visitors, effective Tuesday. Previously, people had been allowed to designate two visitors or create a bubble with another household, but that second option has now been eliminated.
The new health orders also reduced outdoor gathering sizes on public and private property to 10 people, including members of a household. The province had previously allowed outdoor gatherings of 25 in public and 10 in addition to household members on private property.
The new orders will remain in effect until May 12.
The province reported 108 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths on Monday.
Most of the new COVID-19 cases announced Monday were in the Winnipeg health region, which posted 63 new infections. Two-thirds of recent cases in Winnipeg are more contagious coronavirus variants, Roussin said.
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