Manitoba has ended its three-day streak of record-high, triple-digit increases in COVID-19 cases, with 75 new cases reported on Friday.
The Winnipeg health region had 63 new cases, the province says in a news release. There are another seven in the Interlake-Eastern health region, two each in the Northern and Southern health regions and one in the Prairie Mountain Health region, the release says.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — reached a new high of 5.2 per cent, up from 4.9 per cent on Thursday. In Winnipeg, that rate reached 6.3 per cent on Friday, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference on Friday afternoon, up from 5.8 per cent on Thursday.
There are 25 people hospitalized with the illness caused by the novel coronavirus in Manitoba, the release says, including five in intensive care.
Roussin announced more restrictions for the Winnipeg area at a news conference Friday afternoon. The new rules, which take effect on Monday, include a lowered cap on gatherings to five people and 50 per cent capacity at sites including restaurants, museums and libraries.
On Thursday, Manitoba announced 173 new cases of COVID-19. That was the third consecutive day the province broke its record for the highest single-day increase in confirmed cases.
There have now been 3,173 cases of COVID-19 identified in Manitoba, the release says. Of those, 1,553 are listed as recovered and 1,582 are considered active — though that number is skewed because of a data entry backlog, and is likely closer to 1,000, Roussin said.
A new COVID-19 test site is opening in Brandon on Saturday morning, the province says in a separate news release.
The drive-up site at the Keystone Centre (1175 18th St.) will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It will be able to do up to 120 tests a day “once fully established,” the release says.
More drive-thru sites will open in Winkler, Portage la Prairie and Arborg over the next few days and weeks, the release says.
The Canadian Red Cross will start helping with contact tracing in Manitoba after its initial set-up and planning period is complete, Health Minister Cameron Friesen says in the release. Through an agreement with the federal government, Statistics Canada will also come on board to help trace contacts in the province.
More possible exposures to COVID-19 were announced at several schools and other sites in the Winnipeg, Southern and Prairie Mountain health regions, the release says. The most recent schools in Winnipeg where people were possibly exposed to the illness are:
- École Taché (744 Rue Langevin) on Sept. 28, 29 and 30 and Oct. 2, 8 and 9.
- Hampstead School (950 Hampstead Ave.) on Oct. 2.
- Gladstone School (500 Gertrude Ave.) on Oct. 5 and 6.
- Christ the King School (12 Lennox Ave.) on Oct. 14.
- Churchill High School (510 Hay St.) on Oct. 7, 8 and 9.
- Darwin School (176 Darwin St.) on Oct. 7.
- St. Mary’s Academy (550 Wellington Cres.) on Oct. 14.
- The King School (851 Panet Rd.) on Oct. 2.
- École Leila North School (20 Allan Blye Dr.) on Oct. 6 and 7.
- Al Hijra School (410 Desalaberry Ave.) on Oct. 5.
- St. Norbert Collegiate (870 Ste.Thérèse Ave.) on Oct. 6.
- École Templeton (1310 Templeton Ave.) on Oct. 6, 7 and 8.
- Amber Trails School (1575 Templeton Ave.) on Oct. 5 and 6.
People were also possibly exposed to COVID-19 at these other sites in Winnipeg:
- Winnipeg Transit routes 45 and 55 (from Panet Road and Reenders Avenue to Portage Avenue, with a transfer to Worthington Avenue and St. Anne’s Road) on Oct. 5 at 6:45 p.m.
- Winnipeg Transit route 75 (from Lagimodiere Boulevard and St. Anne’s Road to Kildonan Place Mall) on Oct. 5 at 8 a.m.
- The Club (797 Sargent Ave.) on Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Anne Ross Day Nursery (511 King St.) on Oct. 2 and 7.
- Seven Oaks School Division buses 16 and 20 on Oct. 6 and 7.
- Sunny Mountain Daycare (1965 Main St.) on Oct. 6 and 7.
- Winnipeg Transit Route 55 (from St. Mary Avenue and Garry Street to Lyndale Drive and St. Mary’s Road) on Oct. 5 and 6 from 4 to 4:30 p.m.
Possible exposures have also recently been reported at these schools in other parts of the province:
- Gilbert Plains Elementary School (106 Burrows Ave. E. in Gilbert Plains) on Oct. 8 and 9.
- Aborgate School (71 Normandeau Bay in La Broquerie) on Oct. 8.
Thirty-eight people in Manitoba have died of COVID-19, including 11 in the past week.
Manitoba’s most recent fatalities linked to the coronavirus include the first involving a First Nations person reported in the province.
The most recent deaths also include two men in their 40s — the youngest in the province to die of COVID-19 — and several residents of Winnipeg’s Parkview Place personal care home.
The site is fighting the province’s largest, deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility to date, with nine deaths and 89 infections.
Another 2,174 COVID-19 tests were completed on Thursday, the release says, bringing the total number done in Manitoba since early February to 220,052.