Manitobans will face tighter restrictions if they don’t stop breaking provincial COVID-19 restrictions, Dr. Jazz Atwal warned Friday.
As a third wave gathers speed in Manitoba, the province’s acting deputy chief provincial public health officer struck a dire tone during the day’s media conference in Winnipeg.
"We don’t like what we’re starting to see," he said. "The third wave is starting. How hard it hits us is going to be up to all of us."
Atwal said the province doesn’t want to have to introduce stricter public health measures, "but we are working on finalizing our plans and we’ll be sharing information on any new restrictions in the coming days. What we introduce will depend on the numbers that we’re seeing and the epidemiology of the cases over the next short period of time."
Forty per cent of new cases in the Winnipeg health region were made up of the more infectious strains of the coronavirus, Atwal said.
He pointed out that while Manitobans are enjoying certain freedoms under the current restrictions, it isn’t a green light for house parties, playdates or sleepovers.
"If everyone has this many close contacts, the third wave will be severe," he said.
"The risks are not the same. The orders are in place to ensure we have some essential services open while balancing that with higher-risk activities. ... We’ve been in this place before. We can see what is coming. We ask you that you do your part."
There has been an increase in the number of contacts among those who test positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the age of patients in intensive care units appears to be dropping, with more people 50 years of age and younger admitted.
There were two locations in Thompson where possible exposure to the B.1.1.7 variant occured, including the Walmart between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on April 6 and at the Safeway between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on April 10.
Two personal care homes have moved to critical (red) in the province, with an outbreak declared at Middlechurch Personal Care Home in Winnipeg and the Flin Flon Personal Care Home in Flin Flon. An outbreak at Unit B5 at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg has been declared over.
There were no additional COVID-related deaths reported Friday. Of the 127 new cases of the virus announced Friday, six were in Prairie Mountain Health.
There have been 2,303 cases of COVID-19 in Prairie Mountain Health, of which 82 are considered active.
There are four active cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Prairie Mountain Health, of whom two people are in intensive care with active cases. There have been 55 deaths in Prairie Mountain Health due to COVID-19.
The following is a breakdown of Friday’s cases by health region:
• 12 cases in Interlake-Eastern
• 29 cases in the Northern health region
• Six cases in Prairie Mountain Health
• Five cases in Southern Health-Sante Sud
• 75 cases in Winnipeg
The five-day COVID test positivity rate is 5.1 per cent provincially and 4.9 per cent in Winnipeg.
There are 704 cases of variants of concern in Manitoba, according to the provincial dashboard.
There are 130 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, of which 60 are active, and 70 people in hospital with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care. There are 17 active cases currently in the intensive care unit in the province and 17 people with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care, for a total of 34 in intensive care.
There are 1,551 active COVID-19 cases in the province with 33,309 cases recovered. There have been 955 deaths in the province linked to COVID-19 and 35,815 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the province to date.