Thirty-six new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba were announced by the province Sunday, bringing the total of confirmed active cases to 205 and the five-day test positivity rate to 1.47.
Over the past two days, 56 cases have been confirmed in the province, while a Portage la Prairie man in his eighties was confirmed to be the ninth Manitoban to die from the virus.
Between Aug. 13 and Aug. 15, there were 94 new confirmed cases — the highest three-day total of confirmed new cases since COVID-19’s presence was first detected in Manitoba. Over the same span this weekend, provincial data show 52 confirmed active cases have recovered.
Among the 36 new cases announced Sunday, 21 are in the Southern Health-Sante Sud region; nine in the Prairie Mountain Health region; five in the Winnipeg region; and one in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.
According to a provincial release, “preliminary investigations of (Sunday’s) Southern Health … cases are linked to a known cluster.” The province says an investigation into the cases is ongoing, and that additional information will be provided “as needed to inform of any public health risks.”
After doing well to restrict the virus’ spread throughout the spring and early parts of summer, Manitoba’s case count and its test positivity rate have been steadily climbing throughout the month of August.
On the first of the month, there were a cumulative 436 cases, and that figure has reached 697 as of Sunday. Since August 5, there has only been one day with fewer than 16 new cases confirmed in the province. Since August 4, the active case count has increased from 52 to 206, or by nearly 300 per cent.
On Saturday, 1,669 laboratory tests were completed, and the province says the five-day test positivity rate is 1.47 per cent. As recently as August 4, that figure was 0.5 per cent.
Broken down by region, there are currently 83 active cases in the Prairie Health; 59 in Southern Health; 57 in Winnipeg; and five in the Interlake-Eastern region. In total, nine Manitobans have died of the virus since March, and nine more remain in hospital, with three in intensive care.
Sunday’s media bulletin said that two previously identified cases had been removed from Manitoba’s total of lab-confirmed and probably positive cases; one was confirmed as an out-of-province resident, while another was determined to have not had COVID-19.
While chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin didn’t address the media Sunday, on Saturday, he encouraged Manitobans to wear masks and continue to follow fundamentals of virus control, including handwashing and sanitizer use, physical distancing, and staying home if any symptoms of infection are detected.
People experiencing symptoms, even minor ones, of COVID-19 are being advised to seek testing as soon as possible at one of the province’s designated testing sites.
Since February, 113,952 tests have been completed.