New COVID cases drop but many patients in hospital mean health orders unlikely to change much

Manitoba saw fewer than 200 new cases of COVID-19 announced June 7.

111 of the 169 new cases were in Winnipeg, 27 in the southern health region, 16 in the north, nine in the Prairie Mountain health region and six in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

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All but two of the 15 northern health districts have active cases of the virus right now. Island Lake has the most, with 58, while there are 49 in The Pas/Opaskwayak/Kesley and 20 in the Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/God’s River/God’s Lake health district and more than 10 in six other health districts, including 12 cases in the Sayisi/Tadoule.Barren Lands/Brochet/Northlands/Lac Brochet health district. Thompson/Mystery Lake has four cases after having been down to zero active cases lately.

The provincial five-day test positivity rate June 7 was 11.9 per cent

Although new case numbers and test positivity are declining, hospitalizations remain high. There are 344 people in hospital due to the virus, including 66 people in Manitoba intensive care units and 36 in ICUs in three other provinces, the vast majority of them in Ontario.

Those hospitalized include 15 northerners, three of whom are in intensive care.

Two more deaths as a result of the virus were also announced Monday, making the total since the pandemic began 1,077. Fifty-Three northern residents have died as a result of COVID-19.

“Our day-to-day case numbers continue to gradually improve,” said chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin at  June 7 press conference. “Over time we see test positivity very gradually coming down. We still have too many people in hospital right now requiring care.”

Getting more people vaccinated as quickly as possible is key to bringing the pandemic under control, Roussin said. 

To date, 946,611 vaccines have been administered in Manitoba and anyone who received their first dose on or before May 1 is now eligible to book a second-dose appointment, the province announced June 7.

Roussin says Manitobans shouldn’t expect to see significant changes in new public health orders later this week to replace the current ones, which are set to expire June 12.

“We’re not in a position to significantly reduce anything right now,” her said, noting that hospitalizations area lagging indicator that may take weeks to change after new case numbers start declining.

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