Manitoba reports 106 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths linked to more contagious variants

Manitoba reported 106 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and the deaths of two men who had contracted more contagious coronavirus variants.

One of those men was in his 50s and lived in the Winnipeg health region, the province said in a news release. He had contracted the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, also known as the alpha variant, which was first seen in the U.K.

The other was in his 80s and lived in the Southern Health region. He had a variant that’s still listed as unspecified, the release said. The deaths bring Manitoba’s total linked to COVID-19 to 1,134.

Most of Thursday’s new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which reported 64 new infections, the release said. 

The rest are split between the Southern Health region, with 18, the Northern Health Region, with 14, the Interlake-Eastern health region, with nine, and the Prairie Mountain Health region, with one.

Manitoba also reported 82 newly identified cases of more infectious coronavirus variants on Thursday.

That includes 64 new cases linked to the alpha variant and one more infection connected to the highly contagious B.1.617.2 variant, also known as the delta variant, first seen in India.

It also includes 17 cases that are linked to variants still listed as unspecified, the province’s online variant dashboard says.

Meanwhile, the number of Manitobans hospitalized after getting COVID-19 dropped by 10 to 212, the news release said.

The number of people in intensive care is now 64, down by six. Thirteen of those patients are under age 40, a Shared Health spokesperson said in an email.

Of the Manitobans in intensive care after getting COVID-19, 12 are still in hospitals outside the province, the release said, with 11 in Ontario and one in Alberta.

To date, 35 people who were sent outside Manitoba for critical care as the province worked to free up space in its strained hospitals have been brought back. Ten have died since the first patients were sent to Ontario in mid-May.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate dropped to 6.4 per cent on Thursday, the release said, down from 7.1 on Wednesday. Winnipeg’s rate rose slightly to 6.7 per cent from 6.6.

As of Thursday, 30.8 per cent of Manitobans age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the province’s online vaccine dashboard says. For those with at least one dose, that figure is now 71.9 per cent.

Since the start of the pandemic, 55,692 Manitobans have tested positive for COVID-19. That number includes 52,843 people who are considered recovered and 1,715 cases still deemed active, according to a corrected news release from the province.

WATCH | Full news conference on COVID-19 | June 24, 2021:

Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Thursday, June 24, 2021. 1:03:55

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