Sixteen new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba on Saturday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 148.
Manitoba’s five-day rolling test positivity rate also jumped to 1.22 per cent, from 1.1 per cent on Friday, according to the province’s online COVID-19 data portal.
The highest number of active cases in Manitoba to date was 163, which came at the height of the pandemic in early April.
The cases announced Saturday include 12 in the Prairie Mountain Health region — which includes the city of Brandon, where a COVID-19 cluster has been identified — and four in the Southern Health region.
There are still nine people in Manitoba hospitals with the illness caused by the new coronavirus, including three in intensive care.
Eight people have died from COVID-19 in the province — with the most recent death reported on July 28 — and 351 have recovered.
There have been a total of 100,074 COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba, including 1,263 done on Friday, and 507 cases detected.
On Friday, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said 34 cases had been linked to the COVID-19 cluster in Brandon.
That cluster is connected to a person who travelled from eastern Canada and did not properly self-isolate when they got back to Manitoba, Roussin said, though it’s unlikely health officials would be able to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak.
There were also six cases in Brandon not linked to the cluster — which Roussin said shows the infections are starting to spread within the community.
“It’s not just in a couple households,” he said. “We’re seeing some spillover into probably community transmission in that area.”
Ten of the cases in Brandon were connected to the Maple Leaf Foods pork processing plant in the city, the company confirmed Friday. Only some of them are connected to the larger cluster in the city, Roussin said.
The province faced backlash this week after a spike in cases over the August long weekend, when people criticized the government for only releasing the number of new cases and not giving any details typically included in its weekly bulletins (like the health regions where new cases are detected).
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