Another 222 COVID-19 infections and nine new deaths were reported by public health officials on Friday, not long after the province extended the current public health orders for another two weeks after gatherings over the holidays led to a spike in cases and close contacts.
The province has seen 355 cases and nearly 2,000 known contacts since Dec. 25 that have been linked to gatherings across the province. The extension of the orders come into effect Saturday and carry through Jan. 22.
Friday’s cases include 97 in Winnipeg, where the test positivity rate is at 10.3%. Another 69 cases were identified in Northern Health, while Prairie Mountain Health had 27, Interlake-Eastern reported 16 and Southern Health found another 16.
The province’s test-positive rate, which dipped below 10% for the first time in two months on Thursday, was back at 10.1% on Friday. Manitoba’s total caseload since the beginning of the pandemic last March now rests at 25,963.
Laboratory numbers show 2,386 tests were completed Thursday bringing the total number completed since early February 2020 to 435,227.
There are 4,582 people listed as active cases, with 20,655 recoveries reported. Both numbers continue to be inaccurate due to a backlog in reporting recoveries.
Of the nine new deaths, four are linked to outbreaks at long-term and acute care facilities in the province, including two women, one in her 70s and another in her 90s, connected to Fairview Personal Care Home. A woman in her 50s linked to an outbreak at Health Sciences Centre’s GH4 Unit and a woman in her 60s connected to Southeast Personal Care Home were also listed among the dead.
Two Winnipeg men in their 50s and a Winnipeg woman in her 70s were among the dead not linked to outbreaks, a list that also included a man in his 70s from Northern Health and a woman in her 90s from Prairie Mountain.
The province’s death toll now stands at 726. There have been 59 reported deaths in January so far.
Hospitalizations dropped by four to 315 with Friday’s figures. There are 35 people in intensive care, a reduction of two compared to Thursday. In both cases, the numbers include both active cases as well as those deemed non-infectious but still requiring care.
A break down of hospitalizations were given by public health on Friday, and include the following people in six different age categories:
• 0-19 – 4
• 20-39 – 15
• 40-59 – 43
• 60-79 – 102
• 80-99 – 61
• Over 100 – 2
Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Shared Health, said hospitalizations have stabilized to the point that the province will resume some non-urgent surgeries beginning next week.
Those operations include joint replacement and eye surgeries. Siragusa said there will be 60 procedures next week at four sites in Winnipeg — Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, Misericordia Health Centre, Pan Am Clinic and Concordia Hospital.
Surgery and endoscopies are also expected to begin as soon as this coming week in Swan River, Dauphin, Neepawa, Minnedosa and Brandon, while planning is ongoing for increased surgery at facilities located in the Northern Health Region and the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region.
“This will be a slow and gradual increase while we continue to monitor COVID-19 activity and the staffing demands that remain across medicine and critical care,” Siragusa said.
Another 868 people received their first dose of vaccine on Thursday, along with 294 people getting their final of two shots required for immunity, the province said Friday.
A total of 4,021 doses have been administered at the new RBC Convention Centre supersite, with 7,484 people now having received their first dose since the vaccination campaign began last month.
The breakdown per health region is as follows:
• 4,738 from the Winnipeg health region
• 693 from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region
• 520 from the Interlake-Eastern health region
• 267 from Prairie Mountain Health
• 32 from the Northern health region
• Actionmarguerite St. Vital in Winnipeg
• Menno Home Personal Care Home in Grunthal
• Lions Prairie Manor in Portage la Prairie
Meanwhile, outbreaks have been declared over at Eastview Place in Altona, Portage District General Hospital Medicine Unit in Portage la Prairie and Villa Youville Personal Care Home in Ste. Anne.