Forty-nine new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba on Monday, marking another double-digit day following two record-breaking tallies over the weekend.
Public health officials announced 42 new cases on Saturday and 72 new cases on Sunday, bringing Manitoba’s total active cases to 395 as of Monday.
Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin clarified during a news conference Monday that 24 of the day’s new cases are being retroactively added to Sunday’s total, bringing that day’s case count to 96.
That leaves the official Monday tally at 25 new cases, he said.
“Things have changed so quick with this. We weren’t really expecting to see the numbers we did this soon,” Roussin said.
The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.9 per cent.
Roussin has previously said a test positivity rate over three per cent would suggest significant community-based transmission, which could cause health officials to bring back restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
He says that’s not off the table, but the high number isn’t representative of how the whole province is doing.
“It’s a bit skewed when a huge part of that positive test proportion is related to tight clusters. If you look at the last few days, two-thirds of that positive test proportion is related to cluster outbreaks,” he said. “It’s a bit misleading, that number, when it’s this high.”
Of the 49 new cases between both days announced Monday, there were 35 in the Prairie Mountain Health region, two in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, four in Southern Health and eight in the Winnipeg health region, Roussin said.
Roussin said 236 of Manitoba’s 993 cases — nearly one-quarter — are in communal living communities, including Hutterite communities. People in these communities make up more than a third of the active cases in the province, with 148 active as of Monday.
Of those active cases, 99 were announced in the last three days while a mobile testing site was set up.
“I think as we’re reaching out, working with the communities … then we’re going to see cases that are related to that,” Roussin said.
The majority of the cases announced on Monday in the Prairie Mountain Health region are related to known clusters in “communal living communities,” including Hutterite communities, he added.
There have been 320 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region since July 1, Roussin said, with 196 active cases as of Monday. A total of 52 of those cases are employees at a business in Brandon, Man., which media reports have confirmed is the Maple Leaf pork-processing plant. Thirty-four of those cases are active.
None of the cases announced Monday are related to an outbreak at the Bethesda Place personal care home, he said.