Manitoba reports 75 new coronavirus cases Friday, first drop after days of rising numbers

Manitoba saw its first drop in new COVID-19 cases Friday after reporting a series of record-setting case numbers through the week.

Health officials said 75 new cases had been identified across the province as of Friday morning.

Read more: Word on further Winnipeg coronavirus restrictions may come Friday, restaurants on ‘pins and needles’

The new cases include 63 in the Winnipeg health region, where Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Roussin said Thursday tougher restrictions are coming to reduce the spread of COVID-19, possibly as early as Friday.

Roussin has scheduled a press conference for 2 p.m. and Global News will stream the even live here.

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The province moved the greater Winnipeg area into the orange-level restriction at the end of September, reducing gathering sizes and making masks mandatory in all indoor public places.

The doctor didn’t say exactly what the new restrictions will look like, but hinted at widespread rules to limit close public interaction, likely in areas such as restaurants, bars and gyms.

Read more: Manitoba reports another coronavirus death, 173 new cases Thursday

Community sports could also see limits on the number of participants and spectators, he added. Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the 10-person gathering limit could be reduced.

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The other cases reported Friday include seven in the Interlake-Eastern health region, two in the Northern health region, one in the Prairie Mountain Health region, and two in the Southern Health region.

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Manitoba’s total number of cases reported since March rose to 3,173 with the latest cases, and 38 Manitobans have died from the virus. Provincial data shows 1,582 cases remain active with 25 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.

The province’s five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 5.2 per cent, according to health officials.

Provincial data shows 2,174 tests for COVID-19 were completed Thursday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 220,052.

Read more: Manitoba sets another new record for daily coronavirus cases, sees 2 more deaths Wednesday

Manitoba health officials reported 173 new cases Thursday, 146 new cases Wednesday, and 124 new cases Tuesday.

Per capita, Manitoba now has the highest number of active cases in the country, according to data on Health Canada’s website.

The data shows Manitoba has 112 cases per 100,000 people while the province with the second-highest per capita number, Quebec, has 100 cases per 100,00 people. The Canadian average is 55 per 100,000, according to numbers posted on the site Friday.

–More to come.

Click to play video 'COVID-19: More restrictions coming to Winnipeg Metro Region' COVID-19: More restrictions coming to Winnipeg Metro Region

COVID-19: More restrictions coming to Winnipeg Metro Region

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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