HEALTH officials announced 153 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba — the third-highest total to date — and two more deaths Saturday.
Ninety-one of the new cases are in Winnipeg. Hospitalizations in Manitoba also hit a record count, with 65 people in hospital and 10 in intensive care. One of the two deaths — both women in their 70s from Winnipeg — is linked to an outbreak at Misericordia Place care home. The deaths bring the total in Manitoba to 50.
Meanwhile, St. Boniface Hospital said Saturday night that 22 patients and nine staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 amid outbreaks in three units. The hospital had previously reported 11 patients and five staff members had tested positive. The hospital said there has been one death associated with the outbreaks.
The hospital said it is suspending visits, except for patients in labour or receiving end-of-life care.
"While we understand that this will be difficult for patients and their families, patient and staff health and safety is paramount as we make every effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreaks," Martine Bouchard, St. Boniface Hospital’s CEO, said in a news release.
Outbreaks have been declared at Victoria General Hospital on units 5N and 5S, and at the Agassiz Youth Centre jail in Portage la Prairie. Both facilities have been elevated to red on the province’s pandemic response system.
The province also announced a new potential COVID-19 exposure on a Winnipeg Transit bus. The passenger rode route 11 on Oct. 21 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., boarding at Bell MTS Place and exiting at City Hall.
Meanwhile, the Shark Club Gaming Centre reopened to the public Friday, despite Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries announcing the centre would be closed "until further notice" on Oct. 16.
Few people were there Saturday afternoon. Gaming tables were closed, but VLTs were distanced and open to use. Staff members said they didn’t know why the centre was permitted to open. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries did not respond to a request for comment.
System upgrades mean daily testing numbers, total testing numbers and the test positivity rate were unavailable Saturday. Friday’s five-day test positivity rate was 6.5 per cent.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.