Northern Manitoba passes 800 total COVID-19 cases since pandemic began

Region’s total case count doubled since Nov. 9

Northern Manitoba passed 800 total cases of COVID-19 with the announcement of 30 new cases in the Northern Regional Health Authority Nov. 24.

There are currently 443 active cases in the region and 12 northern residents are in hospital, including one in intensive care. There are also COVID-19 positive northerners who do not require hospital care self-isolating in nine alternative isolation accommodations sites throughout Northern Manitoba.

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There were 349 new cases of the virus reported by the province on Wednesday and nine new deaths, bringing the total to 256 since the pandemic began. One previous death was removed from the total as a result of the discovery of a data entry error in which a 20-year-old who tested positive for the virus was erroneously reported to have died. The provincial test positivity rate is 14 per cent.

New northern cases included eight each in The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation/Kelsey and Grand Rapids/Mosakahiken/Moose Lake/Easterville/Chemawawin health districts. There were also four new cases in the Thompson/Mystery Lake health district, which now has 26 active cases, as well as three in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake health district.

It took only 16 days for the total number of COVID-19 cases in Northern Manitoba since the pandemic began to double. On Nov. 9, the total was 406.

Provincewide, Manitoba has 303 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, passing the 300 hospitalization mark for the first time. Of those, 50 people are in intensive care. Manitoba’s chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said at a Nov. 25 press conference that the number of hospitalizations has nearly doubled in the past 20 days while the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has tripled. Forty-two COVID-19 positive patients are currently on ventilators. 

“The number of hospitalizations due to COVID continues to rise at an unsustainable rate,” Siragusa said.

With new intensive care beds having been added recently, the province is now at 146 per cent capacity of its pre-COVID capacity with 105 people receiving critical care.

“Our goal is to stay one step ahead of this virus and ensure that patient care is not compromised,” said Siragusa.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Manitobans should not be planning to travel outside of the province or to host visitors from outside Manitoba over Christmas and New Year’s or to host or attend gatherings with people from outside their household during the holidays.

“Non-essential travel just shouldn’t happen right now,” said Roussin.

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