Five more deaths and 94 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Manitoba on Tuesday.
This is the first time the daily caseload has been below 100 since Jan. 12, when there were 92 new cases. Prior to that, the province last saw a sub-100 daily count in mid-October.
One of the province’s health regions — Interlake-Eastern — reported zero new cases.
The Winnipeg area has the most new cases of any single health region with 41. The northern region has 36 new cases, while the Prairie Mountain Health region has 15 and the Southern Health region has two.
The total number of deaths in Manitoba due to COVID-19 is now 809.
One of the five new deaths is a woman in her 90s from the Prairie Mountain Health region, who is linked to the outbreak at Fairview Personal Care Home.
The other four deaths are from the Winnipeg area — a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s, a woman in her 80s who is linked to the outbreak at Seven Oaks General Hospital 5U1-3, and a man in his 90s who is linked to the outbreak at Fred Douglas Lodge.
Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, said today’s low number of new cases — compared to the seven-day average of 170 — “is trending the right way, but we still have a number of people in hospital.”
There are currently 277 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 38 ICU patients.
That shows there “still is a burden on the acute care system,” Atwal said.
While the province is seeing benefits from its aggressive contact tracing, it is unrealistic to think the daily case totals will drop to zero any time soon, he said, but tipped his hat to the Interlake–Eastern region.
“This is a pandemic. This isn’t going away quick,” Atwal said. “We need to do what’s being asked of people to do by public health … to keep our case counts low.
“Every interaction we have has a risk of propagating an infection. The more interactions we have, with the more people, that risk has a multiple on it. That’s where you get that exponential growth.”
The vaccination program will eventually help reduce that exponential risk “but we are still early on, on that vaccine side,” he said.
The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.3 per cent provincially and 6.4 per cent in Winnipeg after 1,118 tests were completed on Monday.
The province on Tuesday declared outbreaks over at the Boyne Lodge Personal Care Home in Carman and Health Sciences Centre unit GA4 in Winnipeg.
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