Manitoba health officials announced 55 new cases on Saturday, which marks the second largest spike the province has recorded throughout the pandemic.
During the 24-hour stretch leading into Aug. 23, Manitoba testing labs identified 96 new cases.
With the most recent update, it means there are now 444 active cases in the province, which is a new record-high. It marks the ninth time over the past 10 days that the province has set a new record-high for currently infected patients.
Thirty-one of the most recent cases are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, which continues to be the province’s epicentre. One of the cases involves a health-care worker from the Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon, according to a press release by officials, who did not hold a press conference Saturday.
The health-care worker wore personal protective equipment and is currently self-isolating. According to CBC, it’s the third care home in Manitoba to have a COVID-19 outbreak in recent weeks.
“While the risk is assessed to be low, the site has initiated outbreak protocols in an abundance of caution,” wrote the press release. “This means the site is putting additional measures in place to further reduce the risk to residents and staff, and is restricting visitation at the facility. The site is moving to Critical (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System.”
Of the 444 currently infected patients in the province, 235 of them are in Prairie Mountain Health. The region continues to deal with outbreaks, such as at its Maple Leaf Foods pork processing facility in Brandon. Health officials maintain that there is no evidence that the virus is spreading in the facility, but workers have disputed the claim as dozens have fallen ill.
The province is also still dealing with outbreaks in communal living settings, which includes Hutterite colonies.
Throughout the pandemic, Manitoba has had 1,151 COVID-19 cases. That includes 693 people who have recovered and 14 fatalities.
On July 14, the province came very close to having no active cases. That day, after all of its initial patients had recovered, health officials diagnosed five other people. Since then, Manitoba has seen its curb trend upwards. On Aug. 12, for the first time, the province surpassed 200 active cases. It’s a mark it hasn’t fallen under since, with Wednesday also being the first day that the province eclipsed the 400-case mark.