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158 new COVID-19 cases, 5 more deaths in Manitoba on Wednesday –



There are 158 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba and five more people have died from the illness, the province says in a news release.

The five-day test positivity rate dropped to 9.6 in Manitoba and 7.4 in Winnipeg, the release says.

While Manitoba’s recent COVID-19 numbers have been promising, people still need to keep following public health advice, said Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba’s acting deputy chief public health officer.

“The actions taken by Manitobans [are] making a difference. However, it is too early to start a victory lap,” Atwal said at a Thursday news conference.

A surge in cases linked to holiday gatherings means Manitobans need to buckle down and adhere to public health orders, he said.

Atwal cautioned that if people let their guard down now amid lower case numbers, the progress made during the province’s time at the critical red level of the pandemic response system might be undone.

“If we let up now, all the hard work for the past several weeks could be for nothing,” Atwal said. “We could be back to where we started in November.”

There are now 289 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Manitoba, including 36 in intensive care.

Almost half the new cases announced Wednesday are in Manitoba’s Northern Health Region, the release says. A man in his 50s from that region is among the latest deaths.

There’s been an especially sharp rise in cases in certain northern communities, including Lynn Lake, which had 37 of Manitoba’s new cases on Wednesday, and Thompson, which had 14, Atwal said.

Lynn Lake, more than 800 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, had a population of less than 500 people as of the 2016 census. Thompson, which is about 650 kilometres north of Winnipeg, had a population of just under 13,000.

The other deaths announced Wednesday are a Winnipeg man in his 70s linked to the Southeast Personal Care Home and three people in their 80s: a Winnipeg woman linked to the Charleswood Care Centre outbreak, a man in the Prairie Mountain Health region linked to the McCreary/Alonsa Health Centre outbreak and a Winnipeg man in his 80s not linked to any outbreak.

These deaths bring Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll to 753.

There are 70 new cases in the Northern Health Region, 61 in the Winnipeg health region, 12 in the Prairie Mountain Health region, eight in the Southern Health region and seven in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Winnipeg’s Extendicare Tuxedo Villa personal care home, while the outbreak at the city’s Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre personal care home is now over, the release says.

Three previously announced cases were removed from Manitoba’s total on Wednesday because of a data correction, the release says, bringing the number of infections detected in the province to 26,695.

There were 1,778 COVID-19 tests completed in Manitoba on Tuesday, bringing the total number of swabs done in the province to 443,683 since early February 2020, the release says.

Public places where there were possible COVID-19 exposures in Manitoba are listed by region on the province’s website.

To date, 23,014 people in Manitoba have recovered from COVID-19 and 2,928 are still considered active, though health officials have said in the past that number is inflated because of a data entry backlog.

Wednesday’s update comes one day after Manitoba reported its lowest daily tally of new COVID-19 cases since mid-October. On Tuesday, the province announced 92 new infections.

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COVID-19 update: B.C.'s health ministry to reveal latest new cases, deaths, outbreaks – CTV News Vancouver



British Columbia reported another 465 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths related to the disease on Tuesday.

The province has now recorded a total of 61,912 coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic and 1,090 fatalities.

In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix offered condolences to “everyone who lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Another 443 people have recovered from the disease since B.C.’s last update, leaving 4,331 active cases across the province.

That includes 329 patients in hospital, 70 of whom are in intensive care.

The province has seen an average of 479 cases per day over the last week, which is similar to the number of infections that were being identified at end of December.

The rolling seven-day average increased to 582 cases per day after the first week of January, but has been gradually decreasing since.

Tuesday’s COVID-19 update came hours after the federal government confirmed Canada would not be receiving any new shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week. The country received 82 per cent of its expected shipment this week as a result of previously announced delays.

B.C. was expecting to receive about 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week, though Dix said the province still expects to be able to deliver second doses as scheduled.

Health officials have decided on a 35-day interval between doses, and Wednesday will mark 36 days from when B.C. began administering its first shots.

The province should be receiving 25,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine per week after the shortage ends, according to Dix.

While British Columbians await their turn to get immunized against COVID-19, Henry and Dix stressed the need to continue their individual efforts to limit the spread of the disease.

“To get to the finish line faster and to make our communities safer, we must stop the spread in our communities today. We do that by following the measures we have in place: washing our hands, staying home when we are ill, getting tested and always using our layers of protection,” they said.

“Let’s choose safety by continuing to do our part to protect everyone in our province.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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City of Winnipeg allowed employees to use its gyms during code red – CTV News Winnipeg



The City of Winnipeg has been allowing its employees to use gyms and fitness centres at its facilities amid code red restrictions due to an exemption for governments in health orders.

The City of Winnipeg confirmed to CTV News on Tuesday evening that fitness facilities in Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and Winnipeg Police Service stations, along with six other facilities, have been open and operating for city employees only under a reduced capacity limit.

The city said these centres were used predominantly by first responders working in or near the buildings.

Under current health orders that have been in place in Manitoba since Nov. 12, all indoor sporting or recreational facilities, including gyms and fitness facilities, must be closed. Though some restrictions are expected to be eased when health orders expire on Friday, the province said gyms and fitness centres will be required to remain closed for now.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said while the City of Winnipeg was not specifically given permission to operate its in-house gyms, the health orders that required gyms and fitness centres to close do not apply to any level of government.

“We expect governments to be able to regulate and so we’re not going to tell governments how they function,” Roussin said. “If they feel that they could have limited capacity and run these gyms for their employees for certain reasons, then we’re not regulating that.”

Roussin said if gyms and fitness centres were allowed to open across Manitoba, it could cause cases to spike.

He said he was aware that health inspectors visited some of the gyms operating at City of Winnipeg facilities, and found them safe.

Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason blew the whistle on social media about the city’s operation of fitness centres during code red restrictions.

“I’m disappointed in myself for being so distracted with the business at City Hall to have not raised the issue sooner than when I became aware today that the City was not covered under the blanket rules assigned by (the) Province,” Nason said in a statement to CTV News.

“Even though I didn’t access the gym at any time during the Code Red restrictions, we should respect the provincial orders and align ourselves with so many that have had to shutter their businesses due (to) this unprecedented time.”

A spokesperson for the city told CTV News the city was not aware until today that it was being allowed to operate its fitness centres solely because it is a municipal government.

“Several months ago, we sought clarification from provincial public health officials on whether fitness facilities within civic workplaces accessible only to, and for City employees, could remain open,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“The province advised us that these facilities could in fact continue to operate provided posted capacity limits and physical guidelines were maintained and adhered to.”

Despite the exemption, they said effective immediately the city is closing its employee fitness centres.

Fitness centres at Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and Winnipeg Police Service stations will continue to operate because “mandatory fitness standards are a requirement of first responders’ jobs.”

“We will continue to encourage our employees to explore alternative ways of maintaining their physical health while adhering to public health guidelines,” they said.

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B.C. records another 465 COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths and 70 in ICU – Global News



British Columbia has recorded another 465 COVID-19 cases Tuesday bringing the provincial total to 61,912 since the pandemic began.

Another 12 people have died from complications with the virus, with the total number of deaths now standing at 1,090.

Read more:
B.C. records 1,330 new cases of COVID-19 but single-day count falls to lowest in 11 weeks

Two more people have been admitted to the ICU, meaning there are now 70 people in critical care in the province. There are 329 in hospital, which is down 14 from Monday.

In total, 55,099 people have recovered from the virus but there remain 4,331 active cases and 6,864 people in isolation.

B.C. officials report 1,330 new COVID-19 cases, 31 additional deaths over the weekend

B.C. officials report 1,330 new COVID-19 cases, 31 additional deaths over the weekend

Since Monday there have been 83 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 262 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 21 in the Island Health region, 61 in the Interior Health region, 32 in the Northern Health region and six new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

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To date, 92,369 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., the government confirmed Tuesday.

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There are no new health-care facility outbreaks.

Over the weekend and on Monday, B.C. recorded 1,330 new cases of COVID-19 along with 31 more deaths.

However, from Sunday to Monday, B.C. reported 301 cases, which was the lowest single-day case number since Nov. 3, when 299 cases were recorded.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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