A Winnipeg man in his 20s has become the youngest Manitoban to die of COVID-19.
The pandemic death was one of nine announced Friday by chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin, bringing Manitoba's total to 208.
On Tuesday, the province reported the COVID-19 death of a 38-year-old woman.
"All these announcements are much more than numbers. These are people; this is a young man. There were certainly some underlying conditions, but this is a tragic to see all of these listings, every single day now," Roussin said.
"This was a son, a Manitoban, and we need to continue to be vigilant to try to stop days like these going forward."
Just 12 hours after new restrictions on in-home gatherings and shopping came into effect Friday, the daily case count in Manitoba is still the highest rate among Canadian provinces.
There were 438 new cases announced Friday, with a surge in southern Manitoba.
The city of Steinbach posted an overwhelming 40 per cent 10-day test positivity rate, almost triple the provincewide rate of 13.7 per cent.
Roussin said it's hard not to see these numbers as daunting, but repeated the message the new tightened public health restrictions won't last forever.
"We're continuing to see over 400 cases a day; our health-care system can't be sustained at that level. We need to change this around, and we need to change it around now," Roussin said, urging employers to allow employees to work from home.
It took 248 days for Manitoba's COVID-19 death toll to reach 100, and just 13 days to double that number, said Shared Health chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa.
There are 281 Manitobans currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 43 of them in intensive care.
"We have people of all ages and from all walks of life in our hospitals right now. There's no denying our elderly population is hit the hardest by this virus... However, we also have people under the age of 40 in our hospitals, we have people in their 20s, teenagers, and we have children. We even have a baby right now with COVID-19," Siragusa said.
Widespread community spread is behind the concerning surge in cases in the Southern Health region, Roussin said; however, it hasn't been specifically linked to last weekend's anti-mask rally in Steinbach.
In Steinbach, Manitoba's third-largest city, 30 to 40 people per day are testing positive for the coronavirus, and there are outbreaks at three personal care homes. Twenty-four people from Steinbach have died since the start of the pandemic.
In surrounding communities, test positivity rates are also disproportionately high and still rising: 30 per cent in the Rural Municipality of Hanover; 20 per cent in Ste. Anne and La Broquerie.
Four of the deaths announced Friday are being linked to existing outbreaks at personal care homes: a man in his 80s and a man in his 100s at St. Norbert care home (Winnipeg); a woman in her 60s at Kekinan Centre (Winnipeg); and a man in his 80s at the Gilbert Plains care home (Gilbert Plains).
The remaining five were a man in his 20s from Winnipeg, a woman in her 50s from northern Manitoba, a man in his 60s from southern Manitoba, a woman in her 50s from Interlake-Eastern health region, and a Winnipeg woman in her 80s.