The number of people testing positive on PCR COVID-19 tests is declining in Manitoba but hospitalizations and intensive care admissions are on the rise.
601 Manitobans with COVID-19 infections were in hospital as of Jan. 17, 47 of them in intensive care. The number of hospitalizations rose by 84 since Friday while the number of ICU admissions was up by two. The total number of northern residents in hospital with COVID went up from 32 Jan. 14 to 40 on Monday and one of those patients is in intensive care.
For the week ending Jan. 13., the province said hospitalizations went up by 335, an increase of 40 per cent, while ICU admission went up by 37, an 85 per cent increase.
Almost half of those in hospital with COVID-19 – 49 per cent – are people who have had two doses of vaccine while 69 per cent of those in intensive care have not had a single dose of vaccine.
20 deaths of people with COVID were reported from Saturday to Monday morning. 1,463 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic began in March 2020 and 65 per cent of those who died within the last six weeks were unvaccinated, according to provincial data.
The government said the number of new cases dropped by over 50 per cent over the previous week in the week ending Jan. 13. However, a majority of people who go to provincial COVID-19 testing sites are not given PCR tests but rapid test to administer tho themselves, which are not reflected in confirmed case numbers, so public health officials say the confirmed cases are much lower than the actual totals. However, the five-day test positivity rate has dropped below 40 per cent to 34.5 per cent, which could indicate that the current wave of the pandemic has peaked and is now declining.
88 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Northern Manitoba Jan 17. The region now has more than 2,100 active infections. There are active cases in every northern health district, seven of which, including Thompson/Mystery Lake, have more than 100 active cases. The latest to join that list is the Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville health district, which has 106 cases.
One new outbreak was declared in the north on Monday at Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home. There were already two other outbreaks in the region, including one at Northern Spirit Manor personal care home in Thompson, where seven staff members had COVID and at the obstetrics and neonatal unit at Thompson General Hospital, where five staff members had the virus, resulting in reduced capacity that may force people who would otherwise have delivered their babies in Thompson to be sent elsewhere to give birth.
85 per cent of Manitobans have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including more than 52 per cent of children aged five to 11, the most recent and youngest age group for which a vaccine was approved by the federal government. 78 per cent of Manitobans have had two or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine while 15 per cent have not received a single dose. Nearly seven out of 10 active COVID-19 cases are among people who have had two doses of vaccine.