Manitoba reported 430 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as officials announced more than two dozen more schools in the province will soon shift to remote learning.
That change will affect all schools in the Winkler-area Garden Valley School Division and in the Red River Valley School Division in southern Manitoba.
Students there will join those in Winnipeg and Brandon in learning from home until May 30, Education Minister Cliff Cullen said on a call with reporters.
Manitoba also reported four more deaths linked to COVID-19 on Saturday, the province said in a news release.
Three of those deaths were among people who contracted the more contagious B117 coronavirus variant first identified in the U.K.: two women in their 60s (one from the Northern Health Region and another from the Prairie Mountain Health region) and a woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region.
The death of a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region was also announced. Manitoba has now reported 1,006 deaths linked to COVID-19.
Nearly 80 per cent of Saturday’s new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which reported 339 infections and a five-day test positivity rate that remained at 14.2 per cent.
Manitoba’s test positivity rate rose to 12 per cent, up from 11.8 on Friday.
The remaining new cases are split between the Prairie Mountain Health region (which reported 30 infections), the Southern Health region (27), the Interlake-Eastern health region (23) and the Northern Health Region (11).
Manitoba has also identified 526 more cases of more infectious coronavirus variants, the province’s online variant dashboard says. Those strains now make up nearly 60 per cent — or 2,407 — of Manitoba’s 4,219 active COVID-19 cases.
There are now 241 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Manitoba, up by two since Friday. Seventy of them are in intensive care, up by three.
Ten of those ICU patients are under age 40, a spokesperson for Shared Health said in an email on Saturday.
As of midnight, there were 51 additional patients in Manitoba’s intensive care units who did not have COVID-19, bringing the total number of people in intensive care to 121.
That number is nearing the peak at the height of the province’s second pandemic wave, when the number of intensive care patients reached 129.
Before the pandemic, the baseline ICU capacity was 72 patients, the spokesperson said.
Manitoba has identified 44,617 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began last year, including 39,392 people deemed recovered.
A new mobile COVID-19 test site is opening Monday at 1181 Portage Ave., in Winnipeg. The site will run daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., though appointments are required.