Manitoba hit a new high of 543 for daily COVID-19 cases – the first daily number in the 500 – with seven more deaths, the daily bulletin said.
This puts the total number of cases of Manitoba at more than 14,000 so far, which means that one in every 100 Manitobas is infected.
“These are easy to think of as numbers, but they are monitobans,” said Dr Brent Rousin, chief provincial public health officer. “The list goes on and on and is very challenging to read every day.”
The vast majority of new cases – 368 of them – are in the Winnipeg Health area, a record. On November 7, 330 cases were reported.
The announcement comes a week and a half after the code became red or critical throughout Manitoba in the regional pandemic response system.
After extensive closures of restaurants, bars and unwanted businesses, meetings inside homes will no longer be allowed and further restrictions came into effect on Friday with the sale of unwanted items in the store.
4,700+ cases under code red
More than 4,700 new cases have been reported under code red, and Manitoba hospitals have worked hard to alleviate the stress.
A good sign that those limits are working, Rousin said, is that the average number of contacts of people who test positivity is declining.
There were 118 new cases in the Southern Health Region, a shame for the region’s record. 27 cases were reported in the Northern Health Region, 21 in the Interlake-Eastern Health Region and 12 in the Prairie Mountain Health Region.
The death toll rose to 236, with five of the new deaths in Winnipeg and two in the southern health region. The deceased were aged 60 to 100 years.
The code, which went into effect on November 12, killed nearly half of those killed during the red light.
The five-day provincial test passivity rate was 14 percent in Manitoba and 13.8 percent in Winnipeg.
296 were hospitalized with illness and 52 were in intensive care.
Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer at Shared Health, said 96 of Manitoba’s 103 ICU beds are currently filled, half of them with COVID-19 patients.
Except for four days in the last month, everything else in the hospital was at a record high and the system was at or near capacity. Hospitals continue to add a few ICU beds each week, but Syracuse and Rousin have repeatedly stressed that the system cannot keep up with the demands it faces.
The increase has led to the postponement of 901 emergency and non-elective surgeries in the past four weeks.
Since the outbreak began, 552 health care workers and first responders have tested positive, Siragusa said.
Nearly 111,000 hours of sick time logged in over the past two weeks, up slightly from the previous two weeks, which equates to 6,900 eight-hour shifts, Siragusa said. Sick time is often associated with workers in Winnipeg who are sick or alone at home.
Rousseau also addressed reports of religious meetings over the weekend in violation of current public health orders. He stopped verifying where these meetings took place in the province, but said enforcement officials were investigating.
“These orders are here to save lives,” Rausin said. “We can’t have meetings in person, which puts Manito’s at risk.”
Calls for help in a care home
There have been hundreds of cases of care home outbreaks – there have been nearly 30 such outbreaks so far – and growing case numbers across the province.
Some private care homes are short of staff due to workers doing positive tests and asking family members of residents to help Feed and supervise their loved ones.
Among those assisting at Care Homes are staff from Victoria General Hospital who recently began pitching at St. Norbert Personal Care Home.
“I want to thank everyone who set foot in this incredible time,” she said. “We all need to be together at this time.”
One-fourth of all deaths are linked to two Winnipeg care homes. About 90 percent of all deaths are in the 60s, but two 30 – year – olds and a 20 – year – old died last week.
Since March, 14,087 people have tested positive in Manitoba; So far 70 per cent of the cases have come out in the last month.