Manitoba reports 594 new COVID-19 cases, 3 additional deaths connected to the virus

Manitoba reported its second highest ever daily COVID-19 count Friday and health officials say another three Mantiobans with the virus have died.

Friday’s 594 new infections come just a day after Manitoba reported a record-setting 603 new cases.

Read more: Manitoba bans outdoor social gatherings as COVID-19 cases reach record highs

Health data now shows 1,022 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died since March 2020 and 47,504 people have contracted the virus.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer and Manitoba’s chief nursing officer, Lanette Siragusa, are expected to have more details at a 12:30 p.m. press conference.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba announces new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of May long weekend' Manitoba announces new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of May long weekend

Manitoba announces new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of May long weekend

Global News will stream the event live in this story.

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The latest cases come after weeks of rising daily case numbers and dire warnings from health officials that Manitoba’s health-care system would not be able to handle a surge in hospital admissions related to the virus.

Read more: Manitoba premier asks federal government for health workers in COVID-19 fight

The demand for intensive care in Manitoba has risen so sharply in recent days, three patients were sent to Thunder Bay, Ont., this week to free up beds.

The number of people in intensive care hit a record 131 Wednesday before dropping to 125 Thursday. Before the pandemic, Manitoba’s capacity was 72.

Click to play video: 'Answering your COVID-19 questions, May 20' Answering your COVID-19 questions, May 20

Answering your COVID-19 questions, May 20

Manitoba has also had the highest per capita rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country in recent days.

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In response to the rising case counts and swelling ICUs, the Progressive Conservative government tightened restrictions Thursday for the fourth time in the past month by banning virtually all social gatherings, even outdoors.

Read more: Manitoba reports record-setting daily COVID-19 case count, 3 deaths

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman were scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the province’s COVID-19 situation Friday.

Meanwhile, officials say all Indigenous people in Manitoba can start booking an appointment for a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on May 24.

More to come…

–With files from The Canadian Press

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