13 new cases of more contagious coronavirus variants confirmed in Manitoba

Health officials have confirmed 13 new cases of more contagious coronavirus variants in Manitoba, including five new cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom and eight cases of the variant first found in South Africa.

All cases are from the Winnipeg Health region, and the majority are either travel or close-contact related, the provincial government said in a news release.

Most of the cases of the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa were found through retroactive screening of samples from February, the province said. 

“At this time, there is no evidence of widespread community transmission of either variant of concern. Case investigations continue and the public will be informed should the risk profile change,” the news release said.

There have now been 22 cases of variants of concern confirmed in Manitoba, including eight cases of the B117 variant — the variant first found in the U.K. —  and 14 of the B1351 variant. 

The announcement of the new variant cases comes one day after the province announced it would start screening all COVID-19 samples for the B1315 variant, as well as the B117 variant.

There are 66 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one new death in Manitoba on Tuesday, health officials announced.

The death is a woman in her 70s from the Winnipeg Health region.

Manitoba’s test positivity rate is now 3.8 per cent, and 2.7 per cent in Winnipeg. 

Most of the new cases of COVID-19 were in the Northern Health region, which had 36 cases. The rest were in the Winnipeg region with 19 cases, seven in the Southern Health region, and four in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

There were no new cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region. 

More to come

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