Manitoba health officials have announced 43 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, throughout the Winnipeg (29), Prairie Mountain (seven), Interlake-Eastern (six) and Southern Health (one) regions
The update increases the province’s active case count to 652, which marks the fifth time in the past seven days that it has recorded a new record-high for currently infected patients.
The province has seen its active case count rise exponentially over the past few weeks. Two weeks ago on Sept. 18, there were 325 active cases while a week ago (Sept. 25), there were 487 infected residents across Manitoba. The majority of the 652 active cases are located in Winnipeg, which is home to 560 of those patients.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, did not hold a press conference on Friday to discuss the latest spike, but over the past few weeks he’s revealed concerning trends, primarily in Winnipeg.
“We’re definitely seeing that 20 to 29 age group, which is propagating the transmission of the virus right now in Winnipeg,” said Roussin on Thursday. “A lot of that is associated with the restaurant and the bar sector, which we’re actively working with right now.”
Last week, Roussin said that half of its recent cases in Winnipeg are linked to bars, pubs and restaurants. In some cases, people were visiting more than one venue in a night while symptomatic. The province is currently looking at additional enforcement measures, and that an update on potential changes for the bar and restaurant sector is expected in the near future.
Due to the rise in cases, starting on Monday, people in the Winnipeg metropolitan region are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, while indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. Starting Oct. 7, masks will be required all throughout Manitoba at all health-care centres.
In a press release Friday, health officials announced an outbreak has been declared at the Carberry Personal Care Home in Carberry. Officials have also recently notified three schools and daycare centres of potential COVID-19 exposures, along with two public exposures in its capital city and one in Dauphin at Boston Pizza. One airline exposure has also been issued for a flight on Sept. 21 from Winnipeg to Edmonton.
According to Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun, there have been at least 24 schools in the province with a COVID-19 case, with 19 of them in Winnipeg.
Along with the 43 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, 11 more people have recovered, and one more person has died. The victim was a man in his 70s, and was connected to Parkview Place long-term care home in Winnipeg. Of the record-high 652 active cases, there are 15 in hospital, including seven in intensive care.