Numbers fall back below 100 as Manitoba reports 85 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Manitoba public health officials announced 85 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death on Friday.

The daily numbers fell back below the 100 mark after two days of being above.

The death is a man in his 70s from the Southern Health region, linked to the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant of concern.

Of the 85 cases, the Winnipeg health region has 53. The Interlake-Eastern health region has 10, the Southern Health region has nine, the Northern Health Region has eight and the Prairie Mountain Health region has five.

The daily caseload isn’t the only statistic that has gone down.

The current five-day test positivity rate is 5.9 per cent provincially (down from 6.4 on Thursday) and 6.5 per cent in Winnipeg (down from 6.7).

The number of Manitobans in hospital due to COVID-19 has sunk below the 200 mark for the first time since early May. There are currently 197 being treated, which includes 66 patients in ICUs: 54 in Manitoba, 11 in Ontario and one in Alberta.

More to come

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Dr. Jazz Atwal is giving Manitoba’s COVID-19 update on Friday, the final day of current public health orders.

CBC Manitoba is live streaming the 12:30 p.m. news conference here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.

As a result of surpassing a target of 70 per cent of Manitobans with one dose and 25 per cent with two, the provincial government announced it will loosen the public health orders — effective 12:01 a.m. on June 26.

As of Thursday, 71.9 per cent of Manitobans age 12 or older have a first vaccine dose, according to the province’s vaccination dashboard, while 30.8 per cent have two doses.

The next target date in the province’s reopening plan is the Terry Fox Day long weekend in August. That’s when it aims to have at least 75 per cent of eligible people immunized with a first dose and 50 per cent with a second dose.

If it reaches that goal, capacity limits on businesses are expected to increase to 50 per cent.

If the goal of 80 per cent of Manitobans with one dose and 75 per cent with two doses is met by Labour Day, the third phase of reopening will take place.

Friday marks the first day that all Manitobans become eligible for a second COVID-19 vaccine dose — as long as there is at least 28 days since the first shot. 

On Thursday the province announced 106 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, bringing the total number of Manitobans whose deaths are linked to the virus to 1,134.

The seven-day average daily case count in Manitoba as of Thursday is 115, the lowest since early April.

The highest average during the 15-month pandemic was 482, recorded May 22.

The number of Manitobans hospitalized for COVID-19 has been dropping throughout the week. As of Thursday there were 212 patients, a decline of 10 from Wednesday and about 100 less than a month ago.

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