Manitoba health officials have announced 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, throughout the Winnipeg (23), Southern (seven( Interlake-Eastern (five) and Prairie Mountain (one) health regions. Four cases were also recently removed from the tally.
For the third day in a row, a Manitoban has died due to COVID-19 complications, increasing the province’s death toll to 23. The most recent victim was a male in his 50s in the Winnipeg region.
The updates set the province’s active case count at 696, which marks the seventh time in the past nine 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. 20, there were 354 active cases; seven days ago (Sept. 27), there were 589. The majority of the 696 active cases are located in Winnipeg, which is home to 607 of those patients.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, did not hold a press conference on Saturday 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 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 Sept. 28, 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 health-care centres.
In a press release Sunday, health officials said that multiple individuals who attended events at the recreation centre in Little Grand Rapids First Nation from Sept. 24 to 27, have tested positive.
“People from other First Nations communities were also present,” wrote the press release, which was made in partnership with the chief and council from Little Grand Rapids First Nation. “If you attended events at the recreation centre in Little Grand Rapids on those dates, contact the nursing station or health centre in your community.”
The Little Grand Rapids First Nation community has since been moved to critical (red) on Manitoba’s pandemic response system. The chief and council have directed that public gatherings are not permitted, while community residents are required to stay home, except under a few exceptions.
In the press release, Manitoba public health also notified the public about five potential exposure events in Winnipeg, as well as an airline exposure involving a flight from Vancouver to the province’s capital on Sept. 27.
Along with the 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, 11 more people have recovered. Of the 696 active cases, there are 20 people in hospital, including five in ICU.