Manitoba reports first death related to COVID-19 variant, reports 139 new cases Thursday

WINNIPEG — The province of Manitoba has retroactively identified the first death linked to a COVID-19 variant of concern. This comes as the province reports 139 new cases identified on Thursday.

The province said this death – a man in his 70s from Winnipeg – was previously reported in March, but has since been linked to the B.1.1.7. variant.

On Thursday, the province reported 40 new screened or sequence variants of concern cases – including 37 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant. The province said 32 of these cases were identified in Winnipeg, two in the Interlake–Eastern health region, two in the Prairie Mountain Health region, and one from the Southern Health region.

Three variants of concern cases reported in Winnipeg have been uncategorized.

In total, Manitoba has reported 339 variant of concern cases, including 298 B.1.1.7. cases, 20 B.1.351 cases, and 21 uncategorized cases.

Along with the variant cases, the province reported three more people have died with COVID-19.

The deaths include a woman in her 70s whose death has been linked to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holy Family Home, along with a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s. All three deaths occurred in Winnipeg.

Of the 139 new COVID-19 cases reported in Manitoba on Thursday, Winnipeg reported the highest spike with 60 cases. The city’s five-day test positivity rate jumped slightly to 4.6 per cent.

The Northern Health region reported 55 cases, with 18 cases reported in the Prairie Mountain Health region and six cases reported in the Southern Health region. No new cases were identified in the Interlake-Eastern health region on Thursday.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate remained at 4.8 per cent. The province has seen a total of 34,793 COVID-19 cases, though two were removed from the total due to a data correction.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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