Manitoba public health officials announced 74 new COVID-19 cases and one death on Monday.
The daily caseload is the lowest since April 6, when there were 62 cases.
The death is a woman in her 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the B.1.1.7 variant of concern and to the outbreak at Seven Oaks General Hospital 3U4-7.
Two-thirds of the latest cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which reported 50.
The next highest is the Southern Health region, with 15. The other health regions — Interlake-Eastern, Northern and Prairie Mountain — each have three.
The numbers are all going in the right direction, “however, we are still seeing the effects of this virus,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
There are 246 Manitobans still hospitalized with COVID-19 in Manitoba and neighbouring provinces, including 73 in intensive care units. Of those, 58 are in Manitoba ICUs, while 14 are in Ontario and one is in Alberta.
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Manitoba’s chief public health officer is giving the COVID-19 update for Manitoba on Monday, one day after the daily caseload dropped below 100 for the first time in more than two months.
Dr. Brent Roussin is holding a news conference at 12:30 p.m. CBC Manitoba is live streaming it here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.
The province reported 93 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the lowest single-day increase since April 14, when there were 86.
The daily caseload has been trending downward after hitting a high of 603 cases in one day on May 20.
The seven-day average daily case count is now 143. The highest average during the 15-month pandemic was 482, which was recorded May 22.
While cases are declining, the number of vaccined people in Manitoba is climbing.
As of Sunday, the proportion of eligible Manitobans age 12 and up with at least one dose was 71 per cent. The proportion fully vaccinated with two doses was 24 per cent.
Roussin and Premier Brian Pallister announced June 10 that if at least 70 per cent of all Manitobans age 12 and older have received their first vaccine dose and 25 per cent have received their second dose by Canada Day, most businesses, services and facilities will be allowed to open at 25 per cent capacity or greater levels.
However, a number of doctors have urged the province to pull back on that reopening plan, saying it does not take into account the highly contagious delta variant. A single vaccine dose has low effectiveness against the B.1617.2 variant, which the World Health Organization has named delta.
The doctors say the percentage of fully vaccinated people — those with two doses — must be much higher before health orders are loosened.
Manitoba will almost certainly face a fourth COVID-19 wave by fall if it follows through with its current reopening plan, the doctors say.
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