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A dramatic shift in the location of Manitobans sick with the novel coronavirus has occurred in recent weeks, with Winnipeg no longer the province's pandemic epicentre.
On April 4, when the virus was at its peak in Manitoba, the Winnipeg health region was home to 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 seen 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.
On May 1, Winnipeg had 16 of the province's 22 active cases, with Interlake-Eastern recording only one. On June 1, Winnipeg had four of eight cases, with the other four in Southern Health. On July 1, Winnipeg had eight of 10 active cases, with the other two again in Southern Health region.
Health officials reported six new coronavirus infections in Manitoba Friday, with only one located in Winnipeg. Two were in Prairie Mountain Health region and three were in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.
The province said six Manitobans were in hospital with COVID-19, five of whom were in intensive care (up from four listed in ICU Thursday).
The number of active cases dropped to 70 Friday from 76 the previous day.
The current five-day test positivity rate is 0.40 per cent. An additional 1,073 laboratory tests were completed Thursday, bringing the total number since February to 88,621.
Health officials advised that potential exposure from one of the cases reported Friday may have occurred at Blazers Mini Mart in Minnedosa on July 25. Also, exposure from a case identified Thursday may have occurred at Asian Spices of Brandon on July 22 and 23.
People who are considered close contacts of a COVID-19 case will be contacted by public health officials and advised to self-isolate. Others who were at those sites on those days do not need to self-isolate but should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.
An updated list of available coronavirus testing sites for the holiday weekend is available at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/testing.html#list.
Michael Pereira is a data journalist and developer who spends his days pulling data from (sometimes unwilling) sources, extracting meaning for readers and producing graphics that tell a story.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Updated on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 12:06 PM CDT: Corrects Winnipeg per capita annotation
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