Health officials to deliver latest on COVID-19 as Manitoba struggles to contain spread

Manitoba health officials will give an update on COVID-19 today as hospital beds remain full nearly a week into a provincewide partial lockdown.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Shared Health, will speak about the latest trends in Manitoba at 12:30 p.m. CT. CBC News will live stream the news conference here and on CBC Gem, Facebook and Twitter.

Widespread restrictions came into effect on Thursday, but cases and community spread continue to soar. Records were set for the five-day test positivity rate and hospitalizations on Tuesday.

The hospital system is at or near capacity, with a record-setting 240 COVID-19 patients in hospital as of Tuesday, 41 of them in intensive care. 

Roussin and Siragusa have repeatedly said in recent weeks that health-care workers are struggling to keep up with the influx and can’t sustain the rising rates of hospitalization much longer. 

The number of people in hospital with the illness has doubled since Nov. 1 — from 120 to 240 — with nearly three dozen current patients under the age of 50. More than 300 health-care workers have tested positive since the end of September.

The youngest person to die of COVID-19 yet in Manitoba, a woman in her 30s from the Interlake-Eastern health region, was reported yesterday, bringing the death toll to 179.

Nearly 90 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the province have occurred since the beginning of last month. 

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