More than 70 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the north Nov. 27 as regional total passes 900

Two health districts in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) reported double-digit increases in their number of positive tests for COVID-19 Nov. 27.

The Grand Rapids/Mosakahiken/Moose Lake/Easterville/Chemawawin district reported 36 new cases on Friday, bringing their total number of active cases to 82, second highest in the region behind The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation/Kelsey health district, which reported 13 new cases Nov. 27 and currently has 179 active cases. The Grand Rapids and The Pas districts are the only health districts in the NRHA to have had more than 100 cases overall since the pandemic began. Together, they account for more than 500 of the northern COVID-19 cases and 261 of the active cases.

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There were eight new cases reported in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon health district, where outbreaks were declared at two personal care homes this week. There were also eight new cases from unknown districts and three in the Cross Lake/Pimicikamak Cree Nation district, where the number of active cases is now down to 34. There were also two new cases in the Thompson/Mystery Lake district, which has 27 active cases.

The number of new cases in the north overall was listed as 73 in a provincial government press release but 74 on its online dashboard. Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said many of the new cases from Moose Lake were already known from rapid testing but weren’t announced until confirmed by laboratory tests. There are currently 443 active cases and there have been 913 overall since the pandemic began. It took only three days since the NRHA reached a total of 800 cases to surpass the 900 threshold but the number of active cases is remaining relatively stable as people diagnosed earlier recover from the disease.  Seventeen northerners were in hospital due to COVID-19 on Friday, including two in intensive care.

Across the province, there were 344 new COVID-19 cases announced on Friday, as well as 14 deaths, bringing the total to 280, 199 of which have occurred since the beginning of November.

There are 322 Manitobans in hospital due to the virus, 45 of them in intensive care. Manitoba chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said during Friday’s news conference that there are 110 people in intensive care overall in the province right now, which is 152 per cent of the total pre-COVID-19 health care system capacity. There were 32 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of Friday morning and more than 1,000 surgeries have been cancelled in the last month as the province works to increase critical care capacity by deploying staff from surgical units to medicine units.

The test positivity rate for Manitoba was 14.5 per cent on Friday and the total number of cases since the pandemic began reached 15,632.

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