Manitoba’s top doctor delivers latest COVID-19 trends one day after Manitoba tops 500 daily cases

Manitoba’s top doctor will share the latest update on COVID-19 numbers in the province today after records for daily cases and the number in hospital with the illness were set yesterday.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin is expected to hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. CT.

CBC News will live stream the briefing here and on CBC Gem, Facebook and Twitter.

At a morning news conference, Premier Brian Pallister said 95 tickets were issued last week to people violating current public health orders, as the province ramps up enforcement.

He also shared details about COVID-19 financial support programs for businesses forced to close during recent widespread restrictions.

Both Tuesday news conferences come after a record-breaking 546 cases were announced yesterday. 

Manitoba also reached another grim milestone on Monday, surpassing 14,000 total cases to date, meaning one in 100 Manitobans have contracted the virus.

The number of people in hospital with the illness also surged to a new high of 296, with a record-tying 52 in intensive care. Health officials continue to warn the system is strained and cannot sustain the continued pressures it is facing as cases mount and health-care workers are taken out of rotation due to exposures in hospital settings.

All three records occurred on the same day Roussin shared the first hint that provincewide code red restrictions under Manitoba’s pandemic response system may be working. The number of close contacts of positive cases has declined from about seven a month ago to closer to two more recently, he said.

The code red, or critical, level on the provincial pandemic scale was put in place nearly two weeks ago, ushering in a partial lockdown that closed places of worship, theatres, salons, gyms and a range of other non-essential businesses. 

More stringent restrictions came into effect on Friday, banning private indoor gatherings, with few exceptions, and restricting the sale of non-essential items at businesses permitted to remain open to in-store shopping.

As of yesterday, 236 people had died of COVID-19, with nearly half of those deaths reported this month.

Many of the deaths are linked to care home outbreaks — a quarter of all deaths are tied to two Winnipeg long-term care facilities.

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