September 28, 2020

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COVID count jumps to 435 in Manitoba

Workers at two Steinbach restaurants infected

The Canadian Press files

The Canadian Press files

The number of new COVID-19 cases jumped to 435 as of Sunday morning, public health officials announced via Twitter, and two restaurants in Steinbach were forced to close after employees contracted the virus. 

As of 9:30 a.m., 18 new cases had been identified. The province won't release the areas in which the cases were identified until Tuesday.

But over the weekend, the Boston Pizza and Smitty's restaurants in Steinbach announced they would have to close because employees had become infected.

On its website, Boston Pizza said it would remain closed until Aug. 7, when management will reassess the situation. It closed on Saturday.

The Boston Pizza outlet in Steinbach was forced to close Saturday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant said it would remain closed until Aug. 7, at which time management will reassess the situation.

The Boston Pizza outlet in Steinbach was forced to close Saturday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant said it would remain closed until Aug. 7, at which time management will reassess the situation.

The Steinbach Smitty's restaurant posted a message on facebook: "We want to be transparent regarding the situation and what we are doing to keep our guests and team safe. On Aug. 1, we were notified that a team member, though presenting no symptoms, tested positive. The team member had not been inside our building since Monday, July 27, and is currently self-isolating, while contact tracing measures are done."

The restaurant said all employees would be tested and professionals would disinfect the restaurant. It said it would only reopen when safe to do so.

Meanwhile, there has been a dramatic shift in the location of Manitobans sick with the novel coronavirus in recent weeks, with the focus shifting to rural areas, and away from Winnipeg.

On April 4, when the virus was at its peak in Manitoba, the Winnipeg health region had 127 of the province's 163 active cases.

On Thursday, it accounted for only 13 of Manitoba's 70 active cases. The Interlake-Eastern Health region led the way with 40, Prairie Mountain Health had 10 and there were seven in the Southern Health region.

On a per capita basis, the shift outside of Winnipeg is more stunning.

Since April 4, Winnipeg has gone from having 16.21 active cases per 100,000 population to only 1.66 cases. Only the Northern Health region, with zero active cases, has a per capita rate lower than that.

On the other hand, the Interlake-Eastern Health region has had active case rates per 100,000 population soar to 30.27 from 7.57 in early April.

The huge shift has occurred over the last month.

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History

Updated on Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 2:29 PM CDT: adds Steinbach restaurants

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