October 21, 2020

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No deaths, 85 new virus cases in province for Saturday

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For the second day in a row, confirmed new COVID-19 infections appeared to hold at a relatively steady rate in Manitoba, after a week that saw a surging caseload in Winnipeg trigger a round of tighter incoming restrictions.

On Saturday, the province reported 85 new cases of COVID-19. The majority of those — 68 — were centred in the Winnipeg health region. The Interlake-Eastern, Northern and Prairie Mountain health regions all reported four new cases each, while Southern Health-Sante Sud registered five.

As of Monday, gatherings will be restricted to five people, while a number of businesses including casinos, beverage rooms and VLT lounges will close. (Jesse Boily / Winnipeg Free Press files)</p>

As of Monday, gatherings will be restricted to five people, while a number of businesses including casinos, beverage rooms and VLT lounges will close. (Jesse Boily / Winnipeg Free Press files)

No new deaths were reported by the province Saturday, leaving the total at 38. Twenty-eight people are currently in hospital due to COVID-19, including five in intensive care.

In total, Manitoba now lists 1,658 active cases of the virus. However, chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin has noted that due to a data-entry backlog, the actual number of active cases is considerably lower. Since the pandemic began, 3,258 Manitobans are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, with 1,572 now considered recovered.

With 2,683 tests completed on Friday, the five-day test positivity rate for the province fell to 4.9 per cent, down from a pandemic high of 5.2 per cent just one day before.

These numbers come as Winnipeg and surrounding municipalities prepare to see new restrictions, as public health officials look to clamp down on the surge. As of Monday, gatherings will be restricted to five people, while a number of businesses including casinos, beverage rooms and VLT lounges will close.

These restrictions, which also include a five-person table limit at restaurants and a 50 per cent occupancy capacity at museums, libraries, restaurants and retail businesses, are set to last for at least two weeks.

Meanwhile, the province also announced three potential public COVID-19 exposures in the Winnipeg health region, and one in Thompson.

One of these was at Windsor Park Collegiate on Oct. 8 and 9. The public health investigation considers this exposure to be low-risk, and found no close contacts at the school. No one has been required to self-isolate as a result.

Another potential exposure may have occurred for passengers in a Blueline Taxi four-door Prius sedan during a week-long stretch from Oct. 3 to Oct. 9, and between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on each of those days.

The third potential exposure occurred at the Overtime Fitness location on Kapelus Drive in West St. Paul on Oct. 3 from 7:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and on Oct. 5 from 6:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

In Thompson, the potential exposure occurred at the Salon Italia hair salon Oct. 9 between 11 a.m. at 6 p.m.

According to the province, anyone who may have visited one of these sites during the dates and times noted does not need to self-isolate. They are advised to monitor for symptoms and seek testing if any develop.

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