A second pandemic death has been linked to a highly contagious COVID-19 variant, as the province announced the more infectious strain has spread into northern Manitoba.

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A second pandemic death has been linked to a highly contagious COVID-19 variant, as the province announced the more infectious strain has spread into northern Manitoba.

The first confirmed case of the B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in the North, the provincial government announced in a news release Tuesday. The variant was first detected in the U.K. and is becoming the dominant strain of the coronavirus in Manitoba.

Also Tuesday, the province said a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region has died after contracting B.1.1.7. His death follows the first reported Manitoba B.1.1.7 death, a Winnipeg man in his 70s, in late March.

The province also reported a second death Tuesday: a man in his 80s linked to a previous COVID-19 outbreak at Holy Family Home in Winnipeg.

The province-wide test positivity rate for COVID-19 was six per cent.

As of Tuesday there were 89 new cases identified in Winnipeg, 34 in the Northern Health region, five each in Prairie Mountain and Southern Health, and two in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

Manitoba had 62 COVID-19 patients in hospital, with 33 of them in the ICU.

An outbreak was declared at the Fairview Personal Care Home in Brandon.

Mathias Colomb Cree Nation has lifted its lockdown orders, which were implemented when the Canadian military was called in to respond to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the community last month. General provincial public health orders remain in effect.