Manitoba hit a new high for daily COVID-19 case counts with 124 new cases on Tuesday — the first triple-digit tally and the third record-breaking day in less than a week.
The province also announced a death, a man in his 70s from the rural east district in Southern Health. His death is the eighth COVID-19 death since Friday and the 35th in the province since the pandemic began.
The vast majority of the new cases — 95 of them — are in Winnipeg, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said Tuesday.
There are also 16 new cases in Interlake-Eastern, nine in Southern Health, three in Prairie Mountain Health and one in the Northern Health Region.
Manitoba also set a new record for its highest test positivity rate on Tuesday, as the province reported a rate of 3.5 per cent. The test positivity rate is a rolling average of the proportion of COVID-19 tests that come back positive, and Roussin has said it’s a critical metric in the virus’s spread.
In Winnipeg, the test positivity rate is 4.4 per cent, Roussin said.
The new cases Tuesday include some that were identified over the long weekend — including 15 on Saturday and 83 on Sunday — but weren’t previously announced due to a backlog, Roussin said. After a test comes back positive, public health follows a set process before announcing the case.
Additional staff were brought in and people did overtime to work through all the positive tests this weekend, he said. The backlog has now been cleared.
Some contact tracing investigations in Winnipeg have been “very complex,” Roussin said, as public health staff find cases of individuals with COVID-19 who have been to “multiple venues,” even while symptomatic.
“We just cannot succeed in this pandemic if people are out and about when they’re symptomatic,” he said.