2 more deaths, 153 new cases of COVID-19 announced in Manitoba on Saturday

Manitoba announced 153 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with two more deaths related to the illness.

That brings the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the province to 50.

The latest deaths, both women in their 70s, involve previously announced cases of the virus, the province said in a news release Saturday. One of those cases was linked to an outbreak at Misericordia Place personal care home in Winnipeg.

Of the new cases, 91 are in the Winnipeg health region and 24 are in the Southern Health region. The Northern and Interlake-Eastern health regions each reported 15 new cases, and another eight are in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The new cases bring the total in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic to 4,088. The province listed 2,116 people as recovered on Saturday, with 1,922 cases considered active. The province has recently said the number of active cases may be skewed because of a data entry backlog.

As of Saturday, there are 65 Manitobans in hospital with the illness, setting a new record in the province. That includes 10 people in intensive care.

Those numbers jumped from 51 hospitalizations, including eight in intensive care, on Friday, when 163 new cases of COVID-19 were announced.

An outbreak was also declared in a third unit of St. Boniface Hospital Friday, as more people at the Winnipeg hospital tested positive for COVID-19, according to an internal memo.

There are outbreaks in three medical units of St. Boniface Hospital. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Last week, outbreaks were declared in St. Boniface’s E5 and E6 medical units. As of Wednesday, 11 patients and five staff had tested positive.

Meanwhile, two people have tested positive for COVID-19 at College Louis Riel, according to a letter to parents on Friday.

One person was at the school on Oct. 16, and the other was there on Oct. 19. Both may have been infectious at the time.

Four cohorts are shifting to remote learning.

Public health officials are identifying close contacts and they were being advised to self-isolate and possibly be tested.

The province also announced Saturday that Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg is moving to the red, or “critical,” level on the colour-coded pandemic response system after outbreaks in the hospital’s 5N and 5S units were reported Thursday.

An outbreak was also declared Saturday at a provincial correctional facility. The Agassiz Youth Centre in Portage la Prairie has also been elevated to the critical level.

The City of Winnipeg advised Saturday of a possible COVID-19 exposure on a Route 11 bus last Wednesday.

The passenger rode on the bus between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., boarding at Bell MTS Place on Portage Avenue and exiting at the City Hall stop, according to a news release.

The city says buses are cleaned with hospital-grade sanitizer once every 48 hours and masks are mandatory on board.

Single-use masks are available at Winnipeg Transit customer service centres for those who don’t have their own.

The province said lab data, including daily and total testing numbers and the five-day test positivity rate, wasn’t available Saturday because of scheduled systems upgrades. That data is expected to be available Sunday, the province says.

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