Manitoba is in the midst of the worst COVID-19 numbers it’s seen since the pandemic began.
On Friday, the province reported 243 new cases and five more deaths — two of which are linked to an outbreak at Winnipeg’s Victoria General Hospital. Another is linked to an outbreak at the Maples Manor personal care home.
The new case numbers continue a trend of triple-digit daily announcements in recent weeks, with a record-shattering 480 new cases on Oct. 30. The epicentre of that growth has been in Winnipeg, where the test positivity rate is 9.2 per cent. The provincewide rate is 9.1 per cent.
The province is facing ongoing outbreaks at more than two dozen personal care homes and other sites, including Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask generating station, three Winnipeg hospitals, four schools and seven correctional facilities, along with rising cases in some First Nations.
Across Canada, many jurisdictions are facing high numbers of COVID-19 cases. As of Friday afternoon, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a total of 253,807 confirmed or presumptive cases.
Latest outbreak numbers, at a glance
COVID-19 outbreaks were declared in five Manitoba health-care centres in the past month, as of Nov. 5. Those are:
- Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg: Seven patients have tested positive for COVID-19 linked to an outbreak announced on Nov. 4, according to Manitoba Shared Health. It’s the second outbreak at the hospital, after one in March infected more than two dozen people and resulted in the deaths of two patients.
- St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg: In an update on Nov. 6, the hospital said it has had eight COVID-19 deaths, six of which can be attributed to the outbreak. A total of 16 staff members and 26 patients have tested positive linked to the outbreak, which was declared on Oct. 16.
- Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg: A total of 79 people had been linked to the outbreak as of Nov. 6, the hospital said in an update online, including 41 patients and 38 staff members. The hospital said three people linked to the outbreak have died, but the province announced two additional deaths there on Friday.
- Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach: The province declared an outbreak in the hospital’s medicine unit on Oct. 29, but didn’t provide further detail.
- Swan Valley Health Centre in Swan River: The province declared an outbreak at this health centre and the attached Swan Valley Personal Care Home on Oct. 25, but didn’t provide further detail.
Manitoba has declared COVID-19 outbreaks at more than two dozen care homes in the province. The outbreaks have resulted in at least 422 cases and 40 deaths as of Nov. 6.
The deadliest outbreak at a Manitoba care home is at Parkview Place in Winnipeg, owned by private company Revera. But the largest outbreak at a care home in the province is at Maples Long-Term Care Home, also in Winnipeg.
The Canadian Red Cross confirmed on Nov. 3 it will step in to help some Manitoba personal care homes battle COVID-19. Revera, the for-profit company that owns several personal care homes including both Maples and Parkview, confirmed it had reached out to the Red Cross for staffing help for those homes.
Here’s the full list of outbreaks at personal care homes in Manitoba that were active as of Nov. 6.
- Some outbreaks has not yet been entered into the province’s database, so totals for Bethesda Place, Swan Valley Lodge, Park Manor, Actionmarguerite St. Vital and The Convalescent Home of Winnipeg are not yet available. The outbreak at Swan Valley Lodge was declared because it’s so close to Swan Valley Health Centre.
- An outbreak at Meadowood Manor personal care home was declared over on Nov. 5, so it is no longer reflected in the province’s data. That outbreak had been linked to one case of COVID-19 in a staff member, who had recovered as of Nov. 4.
Manitoba had recorded 416 cases of COVID-19 in schools as of Nov. 6, a spokesperson for the province said. A total of 310 of those cases were students, and 106 were staff members.
Some of those cases are linked to outbreaks, which are declared when there is evidence of transmission at the school — that is, if there is evidence that someone became infected by someone else while at the school.
Manitoba currently has four active COVID-19 outbreaks at schools and one school where an outbreak has been declared over.
The province’s first school outbreak was at Winnipeg’s John Pritchard School, which the province says was linked to 28 cases of COVID-19: four among staff members and 24 among students. It was declared over on Oct. 20.
The province has posted dozens of possible exposures at schools across Manitoba on its website — including more than 150 exposures at schools in the Winnipeg health region since Sept. 25.
You can find the full list of possible exposures, including school exposures, on the province’s website.
The province declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Keeyask generating station in northern Manitoba on Nov. 3. The site moved to the red, or critical, level — the highest level on the province’s pandemic response scale.
As of Nov. 5, there were 24 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among Manitoba Hydro workers at the site. An additional eight workers received “not clear” results from Hydro’s private testing and are awaiting confirmation from Cadham Provincial Lab, Hydro said on its website Friday.
All close contacts of the cases are self-isolating, Hydro said. There were 45 staff members in isolation in dorm rooms at the site as of Nov. 5.
A total of 24 Manitoba First Nations have reported cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, the Assembly of Manitoba First Nations and the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team said on Oct. 30, although the organizations won’t specify which ones.
Most of those communities — 17 in total — had active cases as of Oct. 30.
As of Nov. 6, there were a total of 838 active cases of COVID-19 among First Nations people in the province, the pandemic response team says. That includes 442 cases on-reserve and 396 off-reserve.
Mounting cases in Peguis First Nation prompted that community to move to the red, or critical, level on Nov. 5. Public gatherings are not permitted and residents must stay at home unless seeking testing or medical care, or to send one person from a household for essential supplies.
Aid from the First Nations pandemic response team, as well as assistance from the Red Cross and isolation tents from the federal government, have been deployed to First Nations including Little Grand Rapids, where over 30 people tested positive, and York Factory, where a family of seven tested positive after a trip to Winnipeg.
As of Nov. 2, there were active cases of COVID-19 in nine Manitoba correctional facilities. The greatest caseload by far is at Headingley Correctional Centre, where an outbreak was declared on Oct. 13.
Outbreaks have also been declared at the Women’s Correctional Centre in Headingley on Nov. 1 and the Agassiz Youth Centre in Portage la Prairie on Oct. 24.
The province provided case numbers for correctional institutions on Nov. 2. Note that the numbers for the outbreak at Headingley Correctional Centre have since been updated, as listed above.
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