Province reports 1,494 COVID-19 cases on New Year’s Eve

·2 min read

Manitoba has identified eight new COVID-19 deaths and hit another grim milestone of record daily cases, with nearly 1,500 identified on New Year’s Eve — a figure that far surpasses public health official projections for early 2022.

Officials announced 1,123 cases were confirmed on Thursday and 1,494 were identified Friday, the majority of which are located in Winnipeg, in a bulletin issued on Dec. 31.

Two weeks ago, public health officials estimated Manitoba could record as many as 1,000 cases daily in early 2022. In mid-December, Manitoba was recording fewer than 250 cases per day, meaning daily totals have spiked roughly 500 per cent since then.

The new deaths include five people from the Manitoba capital, including two men, in their 70s and 80s, and three women, who were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, respectively.

A man in 50s and a man in his 80s have died in the Southern Health region.

In the Northern health region, a woman in her 50s succumbed to the virus.

A total of 192 people remain hospitalized with the virus at present. Thirty of those patients are receiving intensive care for COVID-19.

The five-day test positivity rate in Manitoba is 30.7 per cent provincially. It is 32.2 per cent in Winnipeg.

Both of the above are new highs that suggest unprecedented community transmission is occuring with the arrival of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Also Friday, the province announced two separate unit outbreaks had been declared at the Children’s Hospital and two personal care homes — namely, Winnipeg’s Actionmarguerite St. Joseph and The Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre — are now listed as critical (Code Red) on the pandemic response system.

Outbreaks have been declared over at Winnipeg’s Faith Academy Middle School, Westview School, École Margaret Underhill School, Donwood Assisted Living, and Amber Meadow Retirement Home.

There is also no longer an outbreak in Village View Lodge, an assisted living facility located in Plumas.

More than 60 per cent of all new cases are in the Manitoba capital. The latest cases can be broken down by region as follows: 279 in Interlake-Eastern; 110 in Northern; 336 in Prairie Mountain Health; 268 in Southern-Health; and 1,624 in Winnipeg.

The majority of new cases are breakthroughs. Of the latest cases, 240 individuals are not fully vaccinated.

Data continues to show COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe outcomes.

To date, 85 per cent of eligible Manitobans aged five and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost 79 per cent of that group has been fully immunized and nearly 24 per cent has received a booster.

maggie.macintosh@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @macintoshmaggie

Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press

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