Manitoba to give COVID-19 update as more info expected on vaccine eligibility

WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials are set to provide an update on the province’s COVID-19 situation on Friday afternoon.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, and Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, will be speaking at a news conference at 12:30 p.m. at the Manitoba Legislative Building. CTV News Winnipeg will live-stream the event.

Earlier in the week, the province said more information would be coming on Friday regarding expanding vaccine eligibility to residents living in specific COVID-19 hotspots.

Reimer said the decisions are being made based on case rates, population density, suitable housing in the areas, and the percentage of racialized and lower-income populations. Certain jobs will also be included in the priority geography approach, including those who work at a schools, childcare or daycare locations, food processing facilities, grocery stores, convenience and gas stores, and food serving businesses.

Reimer said the information on the exact geographic locations and when people can start booking their appointments would come today.

On Thursday, the province reported 261 cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of active cases in the province to 1,682 and the five-day test positivity rate to 6.4 per cent.

Health officials also announced one additional death related to COVID-19, bringing Manitoba’s death toll to 962.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 36,890 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

– With files from CTV’s Danton Unger and Devon McKendrick.

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