Manitoba reports 239 COVID-19 cases as numbers continue to rise

Manitoba reports 239 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day increase since June, and one death.

That new fourth-wave high comes after provincial modelling shared earlier this week suggested Manitoba could see 223 cases per day by Dec. 25, given anticipated impacts of the highly contagious Omicron variant. 

The current seven-day average for daily cases sits at 183.

There are two new cases of Omicron, which experts say spreads much more quickly than the Delta variant. The two newly confirmed cases bring the total found in Manitoba to eight.

The provincial test positivity rate decreased slightly to 6.5 per cent, down from 6.6 per cent on Thursday. The rate in Winnipeg sits at 5.5 per cent, up from 4.4 per cent on Wednesday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital remains at 139, including 33 in intensive care.

A total of 98 patients in the province are in intensive care units with COVID-19 or with other conditions, a provincial spokesperson said. Manitoba’s pre-pandemic ICU capacity was 72 beds.

Two new outbreaks have been declared: in a Grade 5-6 class at Meadows School in Brandon and in a Grade 6 cohort at Faith Academy in Winnipeg. Both schools have been moved to the restricted or orange level of the provincial pandemic response system.

An outbreak at Third Crossing Manor personal care home, part of Southern Health in Gladstone, Man., has been declared over.

The death reported Friday was a man in his 80s from the Prairie Mountain Health.

Details of two COVID-19 deaths reported Thursday were also released on Friday: A man in his 30s from the Interlake-Eastern health region and a woman in her 50s from the Northern Health Region died.

There have been 1,360 deaths due to the illness reported in Manitoba.

Of the latest cases, 108 are in the Winnipeg Health region and 71 are in Southern Health. With just 15 per cent of Manitoba’s population, Southern Health, which has the province’s lowest vaccination rate, continues to have a disproportionate number of new cases 

There are also 34 more cases in Prairie Mountain Health, 16 in the Northern Health Region and 10 in Interlake-Eastern.

Earlier this week, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said estimates suggest Omicron could lead to over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases per day in the New Year. 

He warned Manitobans, particularly those over 60 and with underlying medical conditions, to consider scaling back holiday plans.

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