Thursday’s COVID-19 technical briefing conducted by the province for the press contained many questions about details and many vague responses from officials.
In one area specifically – critical-level red public health orders set to expire at 11:59 pm at night – the acting provincial deputy chief of public health, Dr. Jazz Atwal, had nothing new to say about what comes next .
He repeatedly stated that he could not speculate.
“We are analyzing the requests. We are obviously analyzing what is happening from the point of view of the case and the contact. We are analyzing the hospitalization. There are other indicators that we are analyzing,” said Atwal.
“So, at this point, we’re still looking to see what we’re going to do with the orders. We don’t speculate, right?”
He said that different scenarios are being analyzed.
“I don’t know that much has been said, but I would not interpret it in any way that orders will be suspended. I think we need to make that clear,” he added.
Atwal listed parts of the health care system that remain overburdened by COVID-19 as intensive care. Not to mention that the province generated 201 cases in Wednesday’s tests.
“We had an in-depth discussion about it this morning and I’m sure we will discuss it tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon as to what the next set of orders will look like from Saturday, for sure.”
He said that as soon as the orders are confirmed, an announcement will be made accordingly.
The current restrictions were put into play for the holidays and extended until January, to account for potential meetings that could reignite out of control cases that the province saw before the “breaker”, which meant an extremely restrictive block.
This weekend brings the province to the end of an incubation period, but there is still the incubation period for New Year’s Eve and January 1 to consider.
“You could argue here that we are at the end of the Christmas lump and, in a few days, we will reach the beginning of a lump from December 31 to January 1, if it occurs,” said Atwal. .
»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.
Thursday’s covid-19 update
The province’s COVID-19 update on Thursday saw 12 additional deaths listed, including two patients from the Prairie Mountain Health region – a man in his 60s and a woman in his 90s linked to the Fairview Personal Care Home.
The province reported 208 new cases. Seven were removed due to data correction, making the new total of 201.
The new cases are as follows:
• nine cases in the Interlake – Eastern health region;
• 60 cases in the North health region;
• 17 in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
• 17 cases in the Southern Health – Santé Sud health region; and
• 105 cases in the Winnipeg health region.
The current positivity rate for the COVID-19 test in five days was 9.9 in the province and 10.5 percent in Winnipeg.
Laboratory confirmed cases in Manitoba total 25,742, with 717 deaths or 2.79 percent.
The province also reported that 228 people are hospitalized with active COVID-19, as well as 91 people hospitalized with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious, but still need care, for a total of 319 hospitalizations.
Thirty-one people are in intensive care units with active COVID-19, as well as four people with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious, but still require intensive care, for a total of 35 ICU patients.
On Wednesday, 2,132 tests were completed, for a total of 432,839 since February.
»Source: Manitoba Province