COVID-19 deaths rise as hospitalizations drop in Manitoba

Health data shows the number of Manitobans with COVID-19 admitted to hospital fell last week, while deaths linked to the virus rose.

The latest numbers came Thursday in the province’s weekly epidemiology update covering May 8-14, a week that saw 728 new cases reported in Manitoba.

Read more: Patients waiting more than a day to be admitted in Winnipeg hospitals: ‘It’s absolutely terrifying’

With an average of 766 lab-tests for COVID-19 done daily through the week covered by the report, the positivity rate of lab tests was 18.5 per cent, an increase from 17.6 per cent in the previous week.

But provincial case counts no longer necessarily give an accurate picture of active infection rates because the government has significantly scaled back testing and doesn’t include the results of tests done at home.

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Health officials say 149 people were hospitalized as a result of COVID-19, including 16 who needed to be admitted to the ICU.

That’s down from the 196 new COVID-19 patients including 13 needing critical care reported the week before.

Read more: Another 11 COVID-19 deaths reported in Manitoba, 196 new hospitalizations

The province’s weekly updates don’t give the total number of people currently in hospital or ICU as a result of COVID-19, reporting only how many new admissions occurred during the previous week.

There were also 16 new COVID-19 deaths reported between May 8-14, according to the province, up from 11 announced the previous week.

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But the province’s total of COVID-19 deaths recorded since March 2020 rose to 1,913 in the latest report — an increase of 66 over the previous week.

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The government has previously told Global News the number fluctuates as previous cases are confirmed or removed from the list.

Read more: Manitoba reports 185 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, 14 more deaths

The province did not provide further details about the latest deaths. Information about COVID-19 victims, including age, gender and health region, is no longer included in the weekly updates.

The province says four new outbreaks were reported at long-term care homes during the period covered in the report.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings may be mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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