Manitoba reports lowest daily case count since September with 11 new cases, no new deaths Monday

Daily COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop in Manitoba as public health officials announced 11 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths on Monday.

That’s the lowest daily case count for the province since Sept. 17, when Manitoba also had 11 new cases.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is three per cent, while in Winnipeg it is 1.8 per cent, after 1,240 tests were completed Monday,

There are currently 110 Manitobans in hospital with COVID-19, with 26 people in intensive care.

The cases reported Monday were in the following health regions: five in Southern; three in Winnipeg, two in Interlake-Eastern and one in Northern. 

There were no new cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, according to a news release from the province.

As of Monday 78.7 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and up had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 66.5 per cent had two doses.

The more people who get vaccinated, the closer Manitoba gets to a “post pandemic” reality where daily COVID-19 reports won’t be the norm, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said during a news conference Monday. 

Transmission mostly in unvaccinated Manitobans 

Moving forward, Roussin said he expects COVID-19 will be primarily a disease of the unvaccinated. 

“We’re going to still see transmission, we’re going to still see severe outcomes, and that’s going to be mostly in the unvaccinated community.”

WATCH | COVID-19 will be ‘disease of the unvaccinated’

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said Monday COVID-19 will become a “disease of the unvaccinated.” Roussin said more cases are expected as reopenings continue, but the more important factor will be what proportion of those will have severe outcomes. 1:24

About 30 per cent of the province’s current case load is related to the highly transmissible delta or B.1617.2, variant. 

And the number of those cases is climbing, Roussin said. However, the province is not seeing severe outcomes — those resulting in hospitalization or death — in fully vaccinated people. 

Manitoba is getting closer to its vaccination targets, of having 80 per cent of the population aged 12 and over with one shot and at least 75 per cent with two by Sept. 6, in order to fully reopen. However, vaccination rates remain drastically lower in some health districts in southern Manitoba. 

For example, the vaccination rate for the Stanley health district is just 20.7 per cent, while in nearby Winkler, it’s 37.1 per cent. 

Asked if those areas could see tougher restrictions if cases begin to climb there, Roussin said nothing is off the table. 

More detailed modelling on what impact the delta variant may have on Manitoba is coming soon, Roussin said. That modelling will also show what impact other respiratory viruses could have on the province’s health-care system. 

“We’re not going to be dealing only with COVID. We’re going to be dealing with RSV [Respiratory syncytial virus]  and dealing with influenza,” he said.

WATCH | The delta variant cases are rising

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said Monday about 30 per cent of the province’s COVID-19 cases are linked to the coronavirus delta variant, and that proportion is climbing. 1:31

“So we are trying to look for ways to model or at least come up with some scenarios with what this respiratory virus season will look like, because that’s what’s going to put the pressure on the on the acute care system, not just COVID.”

The most recent COVID-19 deaths were those of a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the B.1.1.7, or alpha, variant of concern, and of a man in his 50s from Southern health region, linked to an unspecified variant of concern. Those deaths were recorded on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. 

The province is no longer issuing COVID-19 news releases on weekends, which means updates on Saturdays and Sundays come from Manitoba’s online dashboards. 

Those data portals offer less information than what’s typically included in a news release. For example, they do not provide the age or health region of the people who died from the illness. Those details are now released on Mondays. 

Critical level in Steinbach

An outbreak has been declared at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach, about 64 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg. The centre has been moved to the critical (red) level in the province’s pandemic response system. 

Meanwhile, an outbreak at the L4W unit in the Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg has been declared over, according to the province. 

WATCH | The full news conference

Provincial officials give update on COVID-19 outbreak: Monday, July 26, 2021. 29:26

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