Northern Manitoba saw its biggest one-day increase in the number of new positive tests for COVID-19 reported Oct. 24, with 15 new cases added, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 90 and the current number of active cases to 58.
The majority of the new cases – nine in total were in The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation/Kelsey health district, which now has 15 active cases and one recovery. Three new cases were reported in the Thompson/Mystery Lake health district, which, combined with one new recovery, brings the number of active cases in the district to 17, the highest total of any Northern Regional Health Authority (NrHA) district. Two new cases were reported in Island Lake and one in the Norway House health district – its first positive test.
One active case was removed from the Cross Lake/Pimicikamak Cree Nation health district’s total, dropping it down to five. One case in Gillam was moved from active to recovered. There has also been an additional recovery added to the total for the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake health district, which is now down to two active cases. There have been 32 recoveries so far in the NRHA.
Five northern residents are in hospital due to the virus, none of them in intensive care.
Manitoba reported its 49th and 50th deaths of the pandemic Saturday – both women in their 70s in Winnipeg. A total of 153 new cases were announced provincewide Oct. 24, including 91 in Winnipeg, 24 in the southern health region, 15 in the Interlake-Eastern health region and eight in the prairie Mountain health region.
Northern Manitoba and Churchill are moving to the restricted/orange level in the provincial Pandemic Response System on Oct. 26 for a minimum of two weeks. This will restrict gathering sizes to a maximum of five people, require northern residents to wear a mask in all indoor public places and reduce the occupancy of some businesses to 50 per cent of their usual capacity, among other things. Schools in the north will also see additional restrictions put in place starting Monday, including the suspension of indoor choir practices and use of wind instruments and physical distancing of two metres between people ensured to the greatest extent possible.
Additional locations of possible public exposure to COVID-19 in the north have been identified, including at Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in The Pas Oct. 14-16 and Scotiabank in the Otineka Mall in OCN Oct. 13-15.