Latest COVID-19 report shows hospitalizations trending upward in Manitoba

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to grow last week as the number of COVID-19 deaths rose compared to the previous week, the latest update from Manitoba public health says.

The weekly report released on Thursday covers the period from April 10 to 16.

In that week, 206 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, up from 177 the week before, an increase of 16 per cent. 

On Tuesday, CBC News obtained internal provincial data showing more up-to-date numbers, indicating the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has continued to grow. 

The internal data said there were 538 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals — a rise of 20 per cent, or 90 patients, from 448 on April 12.

The same internal data said five more people have died due to COVID-19 since the end of the most recent reporting period. As of April 16, Manitoba had reported 1,774 deaths, but between then and April 19, that number rose to 1,779. 

From April 10 to 16, 12 people died due to COVID-19, compared to five the week before.

Admissions to intensive care units rose slightly last week, from 19 to 22. 

The province’s test-positivity rate dropped to 19 per cent, from 20.7 per cent the previous week.

Fewer cases were confirmed by laboratory tests last week than the week before, with 1,190 confirmed cases compared to 1,694 the previous week. That’s a decrease of 30 per cent.

Official case numbers significantly undercount the true number of infections, because of limited access to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, the only type of test recorded by health officials.

Positive rapid antigen tests are not included in the official numbers.

Of the new cases last week, 594 were in the Winnipeg health region, 225 were in the Prairie Mountain Health, 157 were in Southern Health, 147 were in Interlake-Eastern and 67 were in the Northern Health Region. 

Labs completed a daily average of 951 tests last week, a decrease from the 1,166 daily average the week before.

One outbreak was reported at a long-term care facility. 

Wastewater surveillance data, which monitors sewage for traces of the virus that causes COVID-19, showed ongoing transmission with a generalized downward trend as of April 7, the weekly report says.

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