The COVID-19 pandemic claimed another victim in the Prairie Mountain Health region on Monday, with the province reporting that a woman in her 80s has died due to the virus.
Dr. Brent Roussin revealed during an afternoon news conference that this death is related to the Brandon Regional Health Centre’s Assiniboine Centre, which originally went into lockdown on Aug. 30 after staff and patients on its second floor tested positive.
This latest fatality represents the first recorded COVID-19 death within the City of Brandon since coronavirus cases began emerging in March.
However, it marks PMH’s second COVID-19-related death overall, with the first being a woman in her 60s who passed away in April after being hospitalized in the Agassiz Mountain health district (which encompasses communities like McCreary and Ste. Rose du Lac).
Roussin mentioned that a man in his 80s from the Southern Health region also recently died from COVID-19, which brings the province’s death rate up to 18 people as of Monday.
Otherwise, public health officials announced 22 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, only two of which stemmed from PMH. The remaining new cases on Monday originated from Southern Health (three), Interlake-Eastern (one) and Winnipeg (16).
With this new round of numbers, there are now 17 active coronavirus cases in Brandon, which includes a new confirmed case at Meadows School.
A press release issued by Brandon School Division Supt. Marc Casavant late Sunday afternoon revealed that the affected individual was present at the “school portable” throughout Sept. 15-16.
When asked why the province didn’t include this case in Sunday’s update, Roussin told the Sun that the act of processing every positive case takes time and occasionally results in reporting delays.
“We get many positive results and each of them has to be followed up by a public health nurse to start compiling the information: where they were? Do they go to school? Were they self-isolating? Those type of things,” he said.
Despite this recent death and confirmed school case, Roussin used Monday’s news conference to consistently praise Westman residents for their continued adherence to the “fundamentals” of COVID-19 avoidance throughout the last couple weeks.
Because of the population’s wide use of masks and physical distancing, the province lowered PMH’s Pandemic Response System threat level from orange to yellow this past Friday, which holds out hope for health regions like Winnipeg that are experiencing a spike in activity right now.
“All these fundamentals are easy to know, but they’re challenging to adhere to all the time because we’ve been doing this for long. But if we look at, say, Prairie Mountain Health, we can see the effectiveness of those actions,” Roussin said. “So we’re seeing cases increasing now in Winnipeg … but if we can get back to those fundamentals, then we can live with this virus without needing to repeatedly institute restrictions.”
Right now, the province is contending with 363 active cases and a five-day test positivity rate of 1.8 per cent. Eight people are currently hospitalized because of the virus, while two individuals are in intensive care.
Overall, there have been total of 1,608 coronavirus cases in Manitoba and 506 in PMH.
Confirmed laboratory testing numbers show that 4,167 tests were completed over the weekend, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 166,998.
» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson
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