Three new positive tests for COVID-19 in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) were among 173 cases Manitoba-wide announced by the provincial government Oct. 15.
The new cases include the first positive test from the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation/Nelson House health district and one case each in the Cross Lake/Pimicikamak Cree Nation and Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake health districts, both of which now have two active COVID-19 cases.
No new cases were announced in the Thompson/Mystery Lake health district for the first time in the last four days, but there are still five active cases, most or all of which are associated with an outbreak at the Thompson YWCA, which has been housing homeless people who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus among its residents since early in the pandemic.
The outbreak was announced Oct. 14 after five positive tests connected to the facility and the Pandemic Response System level for the facility was moved to critical (red).
In a media briefing Oct. 15, Manitoba chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said the decision to move the facility to a "red" level was due to active transmission of the disease.
"We saw active transmission, so we felt it was a clear outbreak. It's in a setting that puts it at an increased risk of more transmission events - we felt it would be important to declare an outbreak and change it to red," said Roussin.
As a result, restrictions have been been put in place.
"It would limit people going in and out, there would be more isolation going on. We have enhanced testing in that area and enhanced environmental cleaning."
According to provincial government statistics, there are 23 active cases of COVID-19 in northern Manitoba - eight in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake district, five in the Thompson/Mystery Lake district, two each in the Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/God's River/God's Lake, Island Lake, Lynn Lake and Cross Lake districts and one in the Nelson House district, with another two cases listed as "unknown district.”
Three NRHA residents with active coronavirus infections are currently in hospital, including one in intensive care.
Manitoba once again broke its own record for new cases for the third straight day, reporting 173 total new cases Thursday, including 133 cases in Winnipeg. There are currently 1,527 Manitobans with COVID-19, with 25 in hospital and five people in intensive care.
The five-day positivity rate for Manitoba is now at 4.9 per cent, while the rate specifically for Winnipeg, according to provincial health officials, is 5.8 per cent - higher, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University, than the national average seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 in the United States.
Another death from COVID-19 was reported in Manitoba Thursday - a man in his 40s from Winkler. The man is the province's 38th death, the 11th person to die from the disease in the past week and 17 deaths so far in October. Roussin said the man had no underlying conditions.
-with files from the Flin Flon Reminder