Manitoba reports 2nd-highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases, with 65 Saturday

There are 65 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Saturday, the province said in a news release, including 56 in the Winnipeg health region.

The update is the second-highest single-day increase in cases in the province.

On Aug. 25, 72 new cases of the illness were announced in Manitoba. Twenty-four cases were later retroactively added to that total, bringing that day’s official case count to 96.

The Prairie Mountain, Interlake-Eastern and Southern health regions each have three new cases on Saturday.

There are now 545 active cases in the province, including 456 in the Winnipeg region, according to provincial data.

Twelve people are now hospitalized with the illness in Manitoba, including six in intensive care.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is down slightly to 2.3 per cent.

To date, there have been 1,829 COVID-19 cases detected in Manitoba; 1,265 people have recovered and 19 have died.

People in and around Winnipeg will have to wear face masks in indoor public places and keep gatherings to a maximum of 10 people starting Monday, officials announced on Friday.

The new rules come as the capital city and 17 nearby communities are moved to the orange, or “restricted,” level under the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

The restrictions will stay in place for at least four weeks, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Friday.

That timeframe includes Thanksgiving, which is on Oct. 12 this year.

Other measures may still be brought in for bars and restaurants in the region, Roussin said, following consultation with people in that industry about how they can reduce the risk of people in those spaces spreading COVID-19.

Organizers of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg pulled the plug on art activities and installations scheduled for Saturday evening.

Instead, those events will be rescheduled throughout the month, between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25.

School, restaurant exposures

On Saturday, the province also announced an outbreak has been declared at the Heritage Lodge Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg, though a government spokesperson said that declaration actually happened on Thursday. The site has been moved to the red, or “critical,” level under the pandemic response system.

Possible exposures were also announced Saturday at three more schools and two more restaurants.

Someone with COVID-19 was at John W. Gunn Middle School in Winnipeg from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18, the release says, though public health investigations suggest that risk is low and the person did not get sick at school.

Classes will continue at John W. Gunn Middle School on Monday, after a possible exposure to COVID-19 at the school was announced on Saturday. (Travis Golby/CBC)

A spokesperson said the River East Transcona School Division learned about the exposure Friday evening. 

Classes at the school will continue on Monday, but any areas the person may have used were closed and will be sanitized, said Amanda Gaudes, the senior communications co-ordinator for the division.

A case of the illness has also been linked to R.J. Waugh Elementary School in Carberry on Sept. 21. That case involves someone who was on a school bus, the release says.

A person with COVID-19 in the southwestern Manitoba town was also at Carberry Collegiate on Sept. 21. One grade at that school is being sent home to learn remotely for up to 14 days starting Monday, the release says.

A case of the illness has also been linked to Del Rios restaurant on Main Street in Winkler. The sick person was at the restaurant on Sept. 16 from 6 to 7 p.m.

A case has also been connected to P.F. Chang’s restaurant on St. James Street in Winnipeg. A person with COVID-19 was at the restaurant on Sept. 12, 16 and 17 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the province is still looking into ways to alleviate pressure and cut wait times at COVID-19 test sites, as increasing case numbers in the Winnipeg area have caused the demand for tests to spike.

Another 2,234 COVID-19 tests were done in the province on Friday, bringing Manitoba’s total to 175,867.

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