Six new COVID deaths in Manitoba, four of which linked with outbreak at care home

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WINNIPEG — Manitoba is reporting six new deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, four of which are associated with an outbreak at a long-term care home in Winnipeg.

The province says the deaths of two women and a man in their 80s, as well as a woman in her 90s, were connected with the outbreak at the Maples Long Term Care Home.

The release says a man in his 70s also died in connection with an outbreak at Winnipeg's St. Boniface Hospital, and that a man in his 50s died in the Steinbach district.

A woman in her 90s who was among the four people the government said died a day earlier was also linked to the outbreak at Maples.

The chief medical officer for Revera, the company which operates the facility, said in a news release late last week that 96 residents had tested positive for COVID-19 but that almost all were asymptomatic, and that it was working closely with Winnipeg Regional Health Authority officials.

Manitoba reported more than 300 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

"As of this morning, there continues to be ICU capacity in Manitoba. As noted last week, officials continue planning for the introduction of additional ICU capacity if needed," the provincial news release on Sunday stated.

The province also noted Sunday that health officials have advised the Women's Correctional Centre in Headingley, just west of Winnipeg, is being moved to critical, or red, following the declaration of an outbreak there.

Nearly 240 of Manitoba's new cases on Sunday were in the Winnipeg health region, where new measures take effect this week.

Starting Monday and continuing for two weeks, bars and restaurants in Winnipeg can open only for pickup or takeout, while facilities such as movie theatres, museums and libraries must close. Most retail stores will be limited to 25 per cent capacity, and religious services will be capped at 15 per cent in the Winnipeg region and 20 per cent elsewhere.

Public gatherings across the province will be capped at five people -- a restriction that was recently implemented in the Winnipeg region only.

In the rest of the province restaurants, bars and stores will be limited to half capacity.

Manitoba Hydro, meanwhile, announced Saturday that it would temporarily reduce the number of employees at the Keeyask Generating Station construction project.

The company said in a news release that five of the 764 workers at the site in the province's north tested positive for COVID-19. It said plans for the workforce reduction were still being developed, and that they would ensure the safety and security of the project is maintained.

"We're taking this proactive, precautionary measure to stop the spread of the virus," Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Jay Grewal stated in the release.

"We'll continue to work with our partner communities to support their individual pandemic response plans."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press