Northern health region has second-most total COVID cases after Winnipeg with 21 new cases Feb. 23

The Northern Regional Health Authority passed the southern health region to become the region with the second-most cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba since the pandemic began with the addition of 21 new cases Feb. 23.

The north, excluding Churchill, has now had 4,759 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, three more than the southern region. About 15 per cent of all COVID-19 cases so far have been among northern residents, while about 56 per cent have been in Winnipeg.

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The north’s new cases on Tuesday included 11 from the Cross Lake/Pimicikamak health district, where members of the Canadian Armed Forces are scheduled to arrive this week to assist Pimicikamak Cree Nation (PCN) with conducting wellness checks, establishing and running alternative isolation sites where people can safely self-isolate, and contributing to public awareness about public health rules, according to PCN Chief David Monias. The soldiers will be in the community for up to two weeks, with assessments regarding whether their presence is still needed to be conducted on the seventh and 12th days, CBC reported.

A team of 30 Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs ambassadors will also be going to PCN to staff checkpoints, make personal protective equipment kits and food hampers, perform wellness checks and deliver mail, James Favel told CBC.

Four of the new northern cases announced Tuesday were in the Thompson/Mystery Lake health district and there were three each in the Bay Line, Island Lake and Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Easterville/Chemawawin/Moose Lake health districts.

Since the start of February, there have been 827 new COVID-19 cases in Northern Manitoba, about 45 per cent of the total number of new cases provincewide in that same time period.

Seventy-six new cases of the virus were reported in Manitoba on Tuesday but eight previous cases were removed due to data correction for a net increase of 68.

No new deaths from the virus were reported in Manitoba Feb. 23 and there were 216 Manitobans in hospital due to COVID-19, 85 of them still considered infectious. Thirty-three Manitobans were in intensive care due to the virus, 12 of them with active cases. There were 25 northerners in hospital from COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 11 who are still considered infectious. Three of those with active infections were in intensive care and another five patients who are no longer considered to have active infections are in ICU.

The five-day provincial test positivity rate is five per cent.

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