Government, health officials to give update on COVID-19 in Manitoba

Officials will provide an update on COVID-19 in Manitoba on Friday as the test positivity rate continues to decline and vaccinations increase in the province.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, will be joined by Families Minister Rochelle Squires for a 12:30 p.m. news conference.

CBC Manitoba will live stream the news conference here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate dropped to 8.8 per cent on Thursday, down from 9.7 on Wednesday. The last time the provincial rate was that low was on May 5, when it also sat at 8.8 per cent.

Winnipeg’s rate sank to 8.5 per cent from 9.2. The city’s rate hasn’t been that low since May 2, when it was 8.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, a total of 70.3 per cent of Manitobans age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of Thursday. Among adults, that figure is now 72.4 per cent, the province’s online vaccine dashboard says.

The percentage of eligible Manitobans who are fully vaccinated is 20.7 per cent.

Premier Brian Pallister and Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced last week 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.

There were still 266 Manitoba COVID-19 patients in hospital on Thursday, including 80 in intensive care units.

Of those 80, there are 20 receiving critical care outside of Manitoba as the province continues to work to free up space in its strained hospitals.

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