North accounts for half of new COVID-19 cases March 4 and Pukatawagan issues stay-at-home order

Northern Manitoba continued to punch above its weight in a category no one wants it to March 4, accounting for more than half of the 51 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province. 

The provincial government said there were 26 new cases of the virus in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA), but the total number for the region went up by by 27 – from 4,948 yesterday to 4,975 today. Winnipeg had the second-highest number of cases at 22 while two of the province’s five health regions reported zero new cases. Ten of the new cases were in the Cross Lake/Pimcikamak health district and there were five each in the Bay Line, Island Lake and Thompson health districts. There was also one new case in the Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb health district, noted as an area of concern by the province.

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“Provincial public health officials continue to see a trend of concerning case numbers in Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (Pukatawagan) and are working with the chief, council and other partners to address the situation,” said the daily COVID bulletin from the province. “The chief and council have directed that public gatherings are not permitted and community residents are required to stay home as of today at midnight. People should only leave their residence to seek testing or medical care, or to send one person from a household for essential supplies. People who work in essential services are able to leave their residence for work. Non-medical masks must be worn outside the home.”

In the bigger picture, there are several encouraging trends, as the number of Manitobans in hospital and intensive care continues to decrease as does the five-day test positivity rate, which dropped from 3.8 per cent on Wednesday to 3.2 per cent on Thursday. There are 181 Manitobans in hospital due to the virus, including 62 with active infections. Nine of those with active infections are in intensive care, along with 15 who are no longer considered infectious. There are 21 northerners in hospital due to the virus, 14 of whom are considered infectious. Four northern residents with active infections are in intensive care, as are two whose cases are no longer considered active. The number of northern residents in hospital and intensive care were also down from Wednesday.

Two more deaths in Manitoba related to COVID-19 were reported on Thursday, making the total since the pandemic began 903.

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