A majority of the health districts in Northern Manitoba had 10 or more active cases of COVID-19 as of June 14, with The Pas/Opaskwayak/Kelsey ahead by dozens with a total of 97 active cases.
Fourteen new cases of the virus were reported in the north on Monday. Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake and Island Lake have the second and third highest number of active cases, with 39 and 38 respectively, followed by Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon and Thompson/Mystery Lake with 14 each. Four other districts have active case totals in the 11 to 13 range.
124 new cases of the virus were reported across Manitoba on Monday, including 80 in Winnipeg, 19 in the southern health region, seven in the Prairie Mountain health region and four in the Interlake-Eastern region.
The five-day test positivity rate in the province June 14 was 10.7 per cent and two new deaths from COVID-19 were reported, taking the provincial total to 1,102. The 54th northerner to die from the virus, a man in his 70s with an infection caused by the B.1.1.7 variant, was announced over the weekend.
271 people were in Manitoba hospitals as a result of COVID-19 on Monday, including 60 in intensive care. Another 26 Manitobans are in intensive care units in Ontario and Saskatchewan. 26 who previously were being treated in ICUs outside the province have returned to Manitoba so far.
There are 10 northern residents in hospital due to the virus, three of them in intensive care.
There were two people linked to Thompson schools who tested positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks leading up to June 8 – one at Burntwood School and one at Riverside – as well as two at Mel Jonson School in Wabowden.
There have been 515 COVID cases caused by variants of concern in the north so far, including 458 caused by the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom and 26 by the B.1.617.2 variant, a sub-type of a variant first identified in India, also known as the Delta variant. 29 of the northern variant cases are unspecified variants.
Although dropping case numbers and test positivity are good signs, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said June 14 that there is still risk.
“The Delta variant does provide a risk to us. We’ll have to see how that Delta variant propagates here,” he said. “This is exactly why our reopening plans are cautious.”
He also asked people to avoid the urge to gather in large groups to celebrate Father’s Day June 20.
“This is another special occasion we’re not going to be able to celebrate the same way we did before the pandemic.”
69.3 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and up have now received at least one dose of COViD-19 vaccine. In the north the rate is 63.4 per cent and only three health districts have less than 60 per cent of residents at least partially vaccinated.
Roussin said Manitoba was on its way to meeting its target of having 25 per cent of residents fully vaccinated by Canada Day, as outlined in its reopening plan.
“We’re going to meet that target before July 1,” said Roussin, encouraging people to get first doses of vaccine as soon as possible and second doses as soon as they are eligible, noting that vaccinated people are not requiring hospitalization or ICU admission as a result of their infections at this point.
Eligibility for second doses expanded to include anyone who receive their first dose of vaccine up to and including May 10 on Monday.