Thirty-four new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba on Friday, more than half of which are in the Southern Health region, the province said in a news bulletin.
The update brings Manitoba’s total number of active cases to 265.
Nineteen new cases were announced in Southern Health region on Friday. Initial investigations into those cases suggest most are linked to a known cluster in the area, the bulletin said.
Another nine of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, while five are in the Prairie Mountain Health region and one is in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.
The province’s COVID-19 test positivity rate climbed to two per cent on Friday, from 1.9 per cent on Thursday. This marks the first time since April 5 the rate — which represents a rolling, five-day average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — hit that number.
Five people are now in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19: one in the Interlake-Eastern region, three in the Southern Health region and one person in intensive care in the Prairie Mountain region, according to the province’s COVID-19 data portal.
Public health officials also announced two more possible COVID-19 exposures in the province that happened this week.
One was on Aug. 18 at the Canadian Tire store in Portage la Prairie, between 1:30 and 2 p.m.
The other was in Winnipeg at the Olive Garden restaurant on Reenders Drive, from noon to 12:45 p.m on Aug. 19.
The risk of transmission is low, but public health is providing the information so people can assess their own risk.
New Prairie Mountain restrictions start Monday
Twelve people with COVID-19 in the province have died, including four within the last week.
To date, 553 people in Manitoba have recovered from the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
The total number of cases identified in the province since the start of the pandemic is now 830.
Starting Monday, people in the southwestern Manitoba Prairie Mountain Health region, which includes the city of Brandon, will be required to wear masks in public places and restrict gathering sizes to 10, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced on Thursday.
The restrictions came as the health region was moved to the orange “restricted” level under the province’s new colour-coded pandemic response system.
There were 242 cases identified in that region as of Friday afternoon, including 116 that are considered active, the province’s data portal said. That includes 99 active cases in Brandon as of Friday.
A new walk-in COVID-19 test site will open in Winnipeg on Tuesday, the bulletin said. The site at 2735 Pembina Hwy. will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As a result, Access Fort Garry on Plaza Drive will no longer offer COVID-19 testing after 4 p.m. Monday.
On Thursday, 2,331 more COVID-19 tests were completed in Manitoba, bringing the total number done in the province since early February to 122,291.
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