Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll and hospitalizations have increased, even as the province reports a decrease in severe outcomes from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll and hospitalizations have increased, even as the province reports a decrease in severe outcomes from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The provincial government has been releasing weekly COVID-19 data, but those figures are often updated later as new reports of hospital admissions or deaths come in.

Last week, the province initially reported 185 hospitalizations and 14 deaths, but those figures have since risen to 210 hospitalizations and 23 deaths for the week of April 24-30.

The changes represent a 14 per cent increase in hospitalizations and a 64 per cent increase in deaths on the previously released statistics.

In comparison, the most recent figures appear to show decreases in hospitalizations and deaths. The provincial report still frames the epidemiological data as reflecting a decrease in COVID-19 activity, largely due to a declining number of lab-confirmed tests and lab test positivity rates.

Asked about significant changes to the previously reported data, a provincial spokesperson did not immediately respond.

The most recent report, published on the province’s website Thursday, indicates there were 196 hospitalizations and 11 deaths during the week of May 1-7. Thirteen of those 196 patients needed intensive care.

The province reported 11 outbreaks during that week, all of them in long-term care homes.

Although PCR testing is limited in Manitoba and most residents don’t have access to lab testing, only PCR test results are reported by the province.

Lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases decreased 16 per cent since the previous week, to 902 from 1,042. On average, 832 Manitobans tested positive daily last week, compared with 840 the previous week, bringing the positivity rate to 17.6 per cent, the province reported.

katie.may@freepress.mb.ca

Katie May

Katie May
Reporter

Katie May is a general-assignment reporter for the Free Press.