Winnipeg boy under 10 dies from COVID-19, marking province’s youngest death linked to illness

A Winnipeg boy under the age of 10 has died from COVID-19, becoming the youngest person in Manitoba to lose their life to the illness.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continued its steady climb on Saturday, reaching a record high of 327 — up from 322 on Friday, the province said in a news release. Of those, 44 people are in intensive care.

The grim updates come as Manitoba announces 487 new cases of the illness, its third-highest single-day increase to date.

Of the nine other deaths announced Saturday, five are linked to known outbreaks in Manitoba.

They include a man in his 70s and a woman in her 90s linked to the Gilbert Plains Personal Care Home, a man in his 80s linked to Fairview Home in Brandon, a woman in her 80s linked to Heritage Lodge Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg and a man in his 90s linked to Park Manor Care in Winnipeg.

The remaining deaths announced Saturday are two women (in their 60s and 80s) from the Winnipeg health region, a man in his 60s from the Interlake-Eastern Health region and a woman in her 80s from the Southern Health region, the province’s release says.

The latest deaths bring Manitoba’s number of coronavirus-linked fatalities to 290.

The province has declared COVID-19 outbreaks in the GD4 unit at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, and at the Manitoba Developmental Centre in Portage la Prairie — a long-term care facility for residents with intellectual disabilities. Both sites have been moved to the critical red level on the province’s pandemic response system, the release says.

Meanwhile, outbreaks previously declared at Aborgate School in La Broquerie and Reston School are now over.

On Friday, Manitoba’s chief public health officer warned again that the province’s health-care capacity is being stretched to its limits, with record numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospital and dozens in intensive care.

“We’re not going to be able to have enough capacity to maintain these numbers for much longer,” Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is down slightly again to 14.2 per cent. In Winnipeg, that rate is now 13.9 per cent, the province says.

There have now been 16,118 cases of COVID-19 identified in Manitoba, 6,804 of which are considered recovered. Another 9,024 cases are still considered active, though Roussin has previously said that number is inflated because of a data entry backlog.

Nearly two-thirds of the new cases announced Saturday (307) are in the Winnipeg health region, while another one-fifth (104) are in the Southern Health region.

The remaining cases are spread out across the Northern Health region (38), the Interlake-Eastern health region (23) and the Prairie Mountain Health region (15).

On Friday, 2,640 more COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, the release says, bringing the total completed in the province since early February to 348,768.

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