Demand on Manitoba’s overburdened health-care system continued to escalate Monday as Canada's COVID-19 hot spot announced 430 new infections.

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Demand on Manitoba’s overburdened health-care system continued to escalate Monday as Canada's COVID-19 hot spot announced 430 new infections.

The province also announced the death of a man in his 60s from the Southern Health region.

"We need to ensure we’re all still familiar with how severe COVID-19 is," chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin told a news conference.

As of Sunday, Manitoba had the highest rate of COVID-19 infections per capita in Canada, surpassing Alberta, with 232 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa asked Manitobans to continue to be cautious and follow public-health measures in the weeks after being vaccinated.

Siragusa said out of more than 300 COVID-19 patients who have been admitted to intensive care since Jan. 1, 34 were vaccinated, and almost all of them caught the virus within three weeks of receiving their first dose.

It takes at least two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop a substantial immune response.

"When you get your immunization, you need to still be cautious for about three weeks," Siragusa said.

On Monday, 265 patients were being treated in hospital for COVID-19, including 73 in intensive care, an increase of two from Sunday, setting a new record. Nine are under the age of 40.

Across the health-care system, there were 120 total people in intensive care, as of midnight. Siragusa said 73 patients were on ventilators as of Monday morning, including 50 COVID-19 patients.

The demand on the province’s critical-care program has surpassed the peak of the second COVID-19 wave and public-health officials anticipate the number of patients requiring intensive care to continue to increase over the coming weeks.

Siragusa said Shared Health and the hospitals that have critical-care programs will be facilitating transfers of lower-risk patients to other locations.

Additional non-urgent and elective surgeries have been postponed to free up space and staff in hospitals; about 100 staff have been redeployed, including 82 nurses, she said.

An outbreak has been declared at Steinbach's Bethesda Regional Health Centre on the medical unit.

A new Fast Pass testing site opens in Brandon Wednesday for eligible school staff and those working in licensed child-care centres.

The site will be co-located with the existing Brandon Keystone Centre site at 1175 18th St. Appointments are required and can be booked starting Tuesday by calling 1-888-986-8152.

New infections were reported in all health regions, including 313 in Winnipeg, 44 in Southern Health, 37 in the North, and 18 cases each in Interlake-Eastern and the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The five day test positivity rate across the province was 12.7 per cent and 14.3 per cent in Winnipeg.

danielle.dasilva@freepress.mb.ca

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva
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Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.

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