Manitoba health officials to give update on COVID-19 in province at 1 p.m.

By | August 20, 2020

Manitoba health officials will provide the latest details about COVID-19 in the province at a news conference at 1 p.m.

CBC News will live stream the announcement from Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Health Minister Cameron Friesen here.

On Wednesday, Manitoba announced its 12th death linked to the new coronavirus. It was the fourth fatality connected to COVID-19 the province reported in less than a week: two others were announced on Tuesday and one on Saturday. Before that, Manitoba had not recorded a death linked to the illness since mid-July.

The province unveiled a new colour-coded system on Wednesday that will allow the government to introduce COVID-19 restrictions that target specific regions, communities or industries in Manitoba.

Premier Brian Pallister also announced face masks will be mandatory in Manitoba schools for students from grades 4 to 12, taking what was previously only a strong recommendation one step further. Masks will now be required for students in those grades wherever physical distancing isn’t possible.

Fifteen new cases of COVID-19 were announced in the province on Wednesday, with 13 of them in the Prairie Mountain Health region. Preliminary investigations suggest most of those cases are linked to close contacts of known COVID-19 cases, though there have been cases of community spread in the area, the province said.

Wednesday’s update brought the total number of cases detected in Manitoba to 763, including 223 active cases.

The province’s five-day test positivity rate dropped to 1.6 per cent on Wednesday. Six people were in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19, two of whom were in intensive care.

Public health officials also announced possible COVID-19 exposures this past weekend at the Wigwam Restaurant in Wasagaming, Man.

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