There are 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says Monday.
There are 196 active cases, Roussin said at a news conference with Health Minister Cameron Friesen, and 354 people have recovered from the virus.
It’s the highest number of active cases Manitoba has had since the pandemic began, according to the tallies in the province’s daily bulletins and on its online coronavirus statistics dashboard.
Of the 16 new cases, 11 are in the Prairie Mountain Health region and five are in the Southern Health region.
The test positivity rate is 1.59 per cent.
There are 64 cases within a cluster in Brandon, Roussin said. There were frequent connections between community members, he said, but he isn’t aware of a specific community event where people transmitted the disease.
“We are seeing early signs of community transmission,” he said.
“Everywhere in Manitoba should be taking caution, but that area should be taking extra caution.”
Roussin said the province is looking into a “surgical approach to restrictions,” where areas with clusters could face restrictions, while others that have lower numbers of cases would not face restrictions.
The total number of confirmed and probable positive cases of COVID-19 is now 558.
An additional 1,364 lab tests were done on Sunday, bringing the total number of tests completed since early February to 103,782.
Brandon’s only testing site is experiencing high volumes, and the Prairie Mountain Health Region says it’s asking people who are not symptomatic or who haven’t been directed by public health or occupational health to be tested, to refrain from coming to the testing site.
That lineup is “too long,” Friesen said.
That testing site is extending its hours on Monday and has plans to be open seven days a week.
As early as Tuesday, a second testing site will be opened at Brandon’s Keystone Centre, he said.
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