243 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths, record hospitalizations in Manitoba on Sunday

There are 243 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Sunday and 12 more people have died from the illness, the province says in a news release.

That update marks the lowest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba since Nov. 14, when 237 new cases were announced.

There are 288 people now in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba, 52 of whom are in intensive care, the release says — setting two new records in the province.

The deaths announced Sunday are all people from the Winnipeg health region, the release says.

They mostly include people whose cases are not linked to any known outbreaks: four men (in their 40s, 70s, 80s and 90s) and three women (in their 70s, 80s and 90s).

Also among the deaths are a man in his 60s linked to the Victoria General Hospital outbreak, a woman in her 80s linked to the Parkview Place Long Term Care Home outbreak, a woman in her 80s linked to the Maples Long Term Care Home outbreak, a man in his 90s linked to the Beacon Hill Lodge outbreak and a woman in her 90s linked to the St. Norbert Personal Care Home outbreak.

The Maples and Parkview Places personal care homes, owned by for-profit company Revera, have become the sites of Manitoba’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks.

As of Monday, 40 residents at the Maples home had died of the illness, according to the province, making the outbreak at that facility Manitoba’s deadliest. In a statement on Saturday, Revera said 27 residents at Parkview Place had died of COVID-19.

The update brings Manitoba’s coronavirus-linked death toll to 229, the release says. It comes at the end of a week when Manitoba announced the deaths of three people with COVID-19 under the age of 40. That list includes a man in his 20s, the youngest person in the province to die of COVID-19.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is down slightly to 13.7 per cent, as is Winnipeg’s at 13.6 per cent.

Of the new cases announced Sunday, 135 are in the Winnipeg health region, the release says. Another 49 are in the Southern Health region, 29 are in the Northern Health region, 16 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region and 14 are in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

There have now been 13,544 cases of COVID-19 identified in Manitoba, the release says. To date, 5,193 people have recovered and 8,122 are still listed as active cases of the illness, though Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has said that number is skewed because of a data entry backlog.

Possible COVID-19 exposures are listed on the province’s website.

This weekend marks the first with Manitoba under a strict new set of rules that outlaw the sale of non-essential goods in stores (though people can still purchase those goods for delivery or curbside pickup).

The latest restrictions also ban almost all visitors to homes, with a few exceptions.

Meanwhile, a Winnipeg personal care home has put out a call for volunteers to help feed residents.

The request at the Simkin Centre comes as personal care homes across the province struggle to find staff, especially since the province banned workers from moving between facilities in May and as more staff have been forced to self-isolate in recent weeks.

Another 2,112 COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba on Saturday, bringing the total number of tests completed in the province since early February to 330,265.

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