The rapidly spreading COVID-19 omicron variant is leading to sharp increases in the number of Manitobans hospitalized due to the virus.
On Jan. 10, there were 378 people in hospital due to COVID-19, up from 297 three days earlier. The number of patients in intensive care is also rising, up to 39 on Monday from 33 on Friday.
In the week ending Jan. 6, the provincial government says, hospitalizations rose by 201, a more than 50 per cent increase.
Manitoba also reported 19 more deaths due to COVID-19 over the weekend. 1,427 Manitobans have now died of their infections since the pandemic began.
An outbreak was declared at the Thompson General Hospital obstetrics and neonatal unit on Monday.
A spokesperson for the Northern Regional Health Authority said bed capacity has been reduced because of the outbreak which could affect how many obstetrical patients the unit can accept.
“Any obstetrical cases presenting to TGH will be assessed and based on that assessment, clinical presentation and staffing capacity, a decision will be made on whether the patient can remain in Thompson to deliver or require a transfer out,” the spokesperson said in an email. “Once staffing stabilizes, full services will resume on the unit.”
There were 2,383 officially reported new cases in Manitoba on Monday, though the actual number of new infections is far higher. There are currently more than 100,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and the five-day test positivity rate is 49 per cent.
Northern Manitoba had 150 new confirmed cases reported on Jan. 10 and there are nearly 1,200 active cases in the region. 21 of the region’s residents are in the hospital due to their infections, though there are none in intensive care. The Island Lake health district leads the region with 369 active cases, followed by Cross Lake/Pimicikamak with 194, Norway House with 164, Thompson/Mystery Lake with 82 and Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/God’s River/God’s Lake with 71.
Currently, 58 per cent of COVID infections affect people who have received two doses of vaccine, compared to 26 per cent affecting those with no doses. 45 per cent of those in hospital due to the virus are unvaccinated, while 41 per cent have received two doses of vaccine. 73 per cent of intensive care patients are unvaccinated, compared to 18 per cent who have received two vaccine doses.
About 85 per cent of Manitobans have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 78 per cent have had two doses. 30 per cent of eligible Manitobans have head three vaccine doses.Nearly 50 per cent of children aged five to 11 in Manitoba have gotten their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.