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Saturday marked the deadliest COVID-19 day in Manitoba as the province announced a record-high 19 new deaths — 16 deaths on Dec. 1 was the previous record.

Of the 19 deaths, 10 are connected to personal care homes, one less than the daily record that was set Nov. 14.

St. Norbert Personal Care Home and Park Manor Care Home each had three deaths announced Saturday.

The deaths also include a woman in her 20s and a male in his 50s, both from the Winnipeg Health Region.

The province announced 354 new cases on Saturday. As the new case numbers remain high in the province, a Manitoba First Nation is receiving the military help it has been asking for.

"This morning we woke up to the excellent news that the Canadian military will be deploying to Shamattawa First Nation, which today has 144 cases of COVID-19 in a very remote community of about 1,300 people," said Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak’s Grand Chief Garrison Settee.

Shamattawa Chief Eric Redhead posted online Friday there were 117 active infections in the northern community, saying they were "literally at a breaking point."

"I want to commend Chief Eric Redhead for his diligent advocacy for the residents of Shamattawa. Last week he asked for help from the Canadian military and he did not stop asking for this assistance," said Settee.

"Yesterday Chief Redhead and I were able to meet with the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, where Chief Redhead demanded help from the military."

Settee said many members of the community’s pandemic team have either tested positive for COVID-19, or are required to isolate, which is why the Shamattawa needs military help.

The Canadian Armed Forces said they are sending approximately six Canadian Rangers to work alongside members of the Shamattawa community and provide humanitarian assistance.

It says assistance will include distributing food, firewood and care packages, as well as information and transportation. The assistance has been requested for 30 days, but as the situation develops, it will continue to evaluate the need.

"The Canadian Armed Forces will support the community of Shamattawa until the emergency has abated and the province, along with other federal and private sector resources are able to effectively support the community," said the Canadian Armed Forces.

The province also announced a provincial test positivity rate of 13.1 per cent on Saturday and there are 349 people in hospitals and 51 in intensive care due to the virus.

Public health also advised COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at the Milner Ridge Correctional Centre in Beausejour and at the Greendale Estate Assisted Living Facility in Grunthal. Both sites have been moved to Critical on the province’s pandemic response system.

kellen.taniguchi@freepress.mb.ca