Dr. Brent Roussin was encouraged yesterday to announce 133 new COVID-19 cases, but he added that the province would be in a much better place if it weren’t for a holiday.
“This morning, we have 538 confirmed cases that were identified on or after December 25 that our contact tracking indicates that they were related to the collection during the holiday season,” said the provincial chief, adding that these cases are connected to 2,879 contacts.
This means that almost 3,000 people are being isolated and a certain proportion of them will become cases.
Of these collection-related cases, 26 are children 10 years and under and were reported on January 10. The province reported by e-mail the acquisition information is available for 11 of the 26 cases so far. Five of these 11 cases were related to two Christmas parties. Five of the 11 cases were related to the household distribution among three households not related to holidays. One of the 11 cases attended day care.
“This is really why we need to extend the restrictions that we have in place,” said Roussin, at a daily news conference.
“We are certainly not back to normal.”
Roussin said that the downward trajectory of the numbers is proof of the hard work of the Manitobans, and that trajectory is what public health officials want to see.
Outbreak of the Samaritan House
Meanwhile, in the safe and heated shelter of Brandon’s House of Samaritan Ministries, where an outbreak was reported last weekend, five employees tested positive for COVID-19.
“It is an evolving situation. I have received regular updates over the weekend and this morning,” said Shared Health’s head of nursing, Lanette Siragusa.
“My understanding is that the leadership of Prairie Mountain Health is working with the shelter, as well as the leadership of the community, the municipality.”
Siragusa also said that authorities will work with the community to find the isolation space.
“Whether in Brandon, or if they need to come to Winnipeg, which would probably not be ideal for them, but it is an option if we need to. We will ensure that there is capacity for them,” she said.
Executive director Barbara McNish declined to comment on where Safe and Warm’s customers were now staying.
“We are working on a plan with the province, therefore, with public health and all the different agencies. But I can tell you, from our Safe and Warm perspective, that we have employees on site every night, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, until we provide customers with alternative options, “said McNish.
The Brandon Friendship also closed its doors for two weeks, with executive director Gail Cullen isolating herself at home. Brandon Sun was unable to speak to Cullen before the deadline.
Small businesses struggling after months of restrictions
While acknowledging how difficult the past few weeks have been for Manitobans in general, Roussin also recognized small businesses and warned that public health orders are in place.
“We all know that these restrictions have been very difficult for the Manitobans, especially those businesses that had to close in the long run with these restrictions. We heard from companies how difficult it has been for them,” said Roussin.
But officials are also listening to other companies that, despite public health orders, plan to open.
He reminded listeners that the downward trend in the number of cases is due to the restriction.
“If we open things up too early, if we have Manitobans who are not following public health restrictions or public health advice, we will see those numbers come back and, again, extend the need for restrictions,” said Roussin.
Companies that violate public health regulations are subject to fines.
NDP leader Wab Kinew agreed that the current red-level restrictions are challenging, but after the news conference he focused on supporting mental health and addictions, as well as more support for small businesses.
“The red code is a challenge, right. I think everyone wants to do their part to listen to Dr. Roussin and I take seriously what he says about the need to implement these restrictions, but at the same time, I think there is a impact on mental health and some related problems like addictions, “said Kinew by phone.
“I think we definitely want to continue to see public health prioritizing the fight against COVID. But, I think we also have to keep an eye on the impacts that this is having on people’s mental health and economic situation.”
Kinew also addressed small businesses that defied public health orders.
“Small businesses should not defy orders, but I think it is a reflection of the lack of support they have received from the provincial government,” he said.
“If the government told you that aid is not coming, then I think that’s where the frustration comes from. But at the end of the day, I think the best solution would be if we could continue to ensure that everyone follows health orders. but that the government could provide more financial assistance to these companies. ”
More financial assistance could match the costs that small businesses are facing, and complying with public health orders would not be so difficult.
Finally, Kinew confirmed that neither he nor any elected NDP official traveled during the holidays, contrary to statements that Premier Brian Pallister made, mainly in defense of one of his cabinet members who traveled.
Launch of vaccines
Meanwhile, Angus Reid released survey results that indicate that 51 percent of Manitobans say the province is doing “bad work” in distributing the COVID-19 vaccination.
Roussin repeated that the limiting factor is the amount of doses that the province is receiving.
“As we get more, we can open up more eligibility,” he said.
In its daily vaccination update, the province said that part of this week’s Pfizer vaccine shipment that arrives in Manitoba will be sent to Brandon’s super site before the inauguration.
“Eligible individuals can now start scheduling appointments at the Keystone Center super site in Brandon, which opens on Monday, January 18th. There are many appointments available from January 18th to 24th.” The bulletin stated.
Kinew said the research reflects only the fact that vaccination implementation is not happening fast enough.
“We all want the vaccine to be implanted safely. But when you hear about the vast majority of the vials still in the freezer, I think that’s where people’s frustration comes from. They want the vaccine to be released safely. But I think they are ready to roll up their sleeves, so they want to see the vaccines used, not just sit there, “he said.
Roussin said, hopefully, in the fall, the Manitobans will see life more normal than it is now, with increased collective immunity.
»Michele LeTourneau covers indigenous issues for The Brandon Sun under the Local Journalism Initiative, a federally funded program that supports the creation of original civic journalism.
The province’s COVID-19 update on Monday saw three additional deaths listed, including a patient from the Prairie Mountain Health region – a man in his 80s linked to the McCreary / Alonsa Health Center outbreak.
The province reported 133 new cases. The new cases are as follows:
– 11 cases in the Interlake – Eastern health region;
– 34 cases in the North region of health;
– 28 in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
– 13 cases in the Southern Health – Santé Sud health region; and
– 47 cases in the Winnipeg health region.
The current positivity rate for the COVID-19 test over five days was 10 percent in the province and 8.8 percent in Winnipeg.
Laboratory confirmed cases in Manitoba total 26,450, with 741 deaths or 2.8 percent.
There are currently 3,414 active cases in the province, with 22,295 individuals recovering from COVID-19
The province also reported that 162 people are hospitalized with active COVID-19, as well as 154 people hospitalized with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious, but continue to need care, for a total of 316 hospitalizations.
Twenty-one people are in intensive care units with active COVID-19, as well as 16 people with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious, but still require intensive care, for a total of 37 ICU patients.
In the Prairie Mountain Health region, there are 215 active cases, with 1,461 recovered. There are 14 people hospitalized, no patient in the ICU, and a total of 40 deaths.
Brandon’s active case count is 65.
Sunday, 1,566 tests were completed, for a total of 440,532 since February.
»Source: Manitoba Province
PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN HEALTH OUTBREAK NUMBERS
On January 11, the status of the COVID-19 outbreaks at Prairie Mountain Health was as follows:
• Brandon Correctional Center: 108 cases in total, 18 infected employees, 90 non-infected employees, one active case, 107 recovered, zero death.
• McCreary / Alonsa Health Center: 35 cases in total, eight infected employees, 27 non-infected employees, 34 active cases, zero recovered, one death.
• Fairview Personal Care Home: 109 cases in total, 41 infected employees, 68 non-infected employees, 2 active cases, 90 recovered, 17 deaths.
• Gilbert Plains Personal Care Home: 41 cases in total, 17 infected employees, 24 infected residents, 0 active case, 32 recovered, nine deaths.
• Grandview Personal Care Home: 36 cases in total, 11 infected employees, 25 infected residents, 0 active cases, 31 recovered, five deaths.
Note: An outbreak is considered during an incubation period (14 days) after the final active case.
»Source: Manitoba Province
MONDAY VACCINATION NUMBERS
Since the start of the Manitoba immunization campaign, 10,353 people have received the first dose of immunization.
The eligibility criteria for immunization were expanded on Monday to include home care workers born on or before December 31, 1965 (amended from December 31, 1960) who are employed by a regional health authority (RHA), employed by an RHA hired by service providers or employed by a customer of a self-managed family care program.
A complete list of eligibility can be found at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html
The province has not updated vaccination numbers by health region.
»Source: Manitoba Province