North passes 1,000 total cases of COVID-19 with 46 new cases announced Nov. 30

More than three-quarters of the region’s total cases have been announced this month

The Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) passed 1,000 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last spring with the announcement of 46 new positive tests for the virus Nov. 30.

Of the 1,018 cases so far, nearly 800 were announced in November.

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More than half of the cases are considered recovered and 476 are classified as active. 

As of Monday, there were 20 northern residents in hospital due to COVID-19, including two in intensive care.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin did not have information about how many positive tests for COVID-19 there had been at The Pas Hospital acute-care unit, where an outbreak was declared Nov. 29, but he did say it could affect how many COVID-positive northerners requiring hospitalization can be accommodated within the region.

“Whenever you have an outbreak in a facility it puts increasing demands on it,” he said. “There’ll be extra measures being required on that ward. I don’t know or have an update if health care providers have been contacts for cases and of course that puts some human resources demands on if people are off required to self-isolate.”

Seven NRHA residents have died from COVID-19, the most recent being a woman in her 80s whose death was announced Nov. 29.

The new cases announced in the north Nov. 30 included 12 in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake, eight each in Island Lake and The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation/Kelsey health districts and four each in the Thompson/Mystery Lake and Grand Rapids/Mosakahiken/Moose Lake/Easterville/Chemawawin health districts. There were also three new cases in the Cross Lake/Pimicikamak Cree Nation and Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon health districts, two from unknown districts and one from Norway House, which now has three active cases.

There are currently 175 active COVID cases in The Pas health district, 79 in the Island Lake district, 64 in Grand Rapids/Mosakahiken/Moose Lake/Easterville/Chemawawin, 44 in Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake, 35 in the Cross Lake health district lake and 30 in Thompson/Mystery Lake.

The outbreak at Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask generating station worksite was declared over by the provincial government on Monday.

Manitoba-wide, there were 343 new positive tests for the virus announced on Monday, as well as 11 more deaths, bringing the total so far to 312.

“We lost 247 Manitobans due to COVID in the past month,” said chief provincial nursing officer Lanete Siragusa at Monday’s press conference. “These people are more than just statistics. It’s a heartbreaking loss for people, for their families and friends to endure.”

The loss is made more difficult, she said, given that people can not gather with people from outside their household at funerals or other gatherings to remember those who have died right now.

There are 342 Manitobans in hospital as of Nov. 30 due to COVID-19, including 43 in intensive care, 31 of them on ventilators. There were three times as many Manitobans in hospital due to COVID-19 Nov. 30 than there were at the beginning of the month, said Siragusa.

“Our health care system is pushed to its capacity right now,” said Roussin.

Siragusa said part of the reason whey military assistance was called in to assist with an outbreak at the personal care home in OCN but not in Winnipeg is that there are more resources to shift around in the capital.

“Part of the problem or the challenge in OCN is that it was harder to redeploy people in the north than it would be in Winnipeg,” she said.

The provincial test positivity rate was 13.4 per cent as of Monday morning.

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