Fourth northern COVID-19 death reported, nine total deaths, 437 new net cases found

The Pas/OCN/Kelsey sees nearly 300 total cases, Mosakahiken, Cross Lake cases remain high

Another person in the Northern Health Region (NHR) has died from COVID-19. The fourth person in the region to die from the disease is listed as a woman in her 50s from The Pas/OCN/Kelsey district.

The woman is the fourth northern Manitoba resident to die from COVID-19 during the pandemic - all four deaths in the north have been women under the age of 70. In addition to the latest person to die, a woman in her 40s from the Island Lake district, a woman in her 40s from the Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake district and a woman in her 60s from The Pas/OCN/Kelsey, later identified as from Opaskwayak Cree Nation, have died from COVID-19.

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Eight more deaths in total were announced province-wide by health officials Nov. 20, ranging from a man in his 20s in Winnipeg to a man over 100 years old in Winnipeg. Five deaths were reported in Winnipeg, with one death each in the NHR, Prairie Mountain Health and Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority.

Manitoba chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said news of the deaths was yet another sign of COVID-19 progressing throughout the province.

"These are not just numbers. This was a son, a Manitoban. We all have to be vigilant to stop days like these going forwards," said a choked-up Roussin.

Province-wide, 437 net new cases were reported Nov. 20, bringing the province up to 7,861 active cases of COVID-19. Of the 437 net cases, 28 were found in the NHR. Of the new cases, 16 of the cases are within The Pas/OCN/Kelsey, where 190 people have active cases of COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, 299 people within the district have tested positive for COVID-19. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces came to OCN earlier this week to check in with medical staff, with further military involvement in the community possible if the health care situation deteriorates further.

The region's current second-biggest situation is now in the Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin district, where 69 people now have active cases of COVID-19 according to the province. The outbreak is centred around the Moose Lake/Mosakahiken Cree Nation area, where band officials have reported as many as 85 total cases. The provincial government has listed 77 total cases, including recoveries.

Cross Lake/Pimicikamak also remains a hub, despite active case numbers remaining around the same as they've been for days. The community now has 67 active cases, but no new cases have been reported in the community. Cross Lake First Nation is listed by the province as an active outbreak site, one of five such areas in the north including the Keeyask Generating Station site near Gillam, the Oscar's Place homeless shelter in The Pas, the Rod M. McGillivary Care Home in OCN and St. Paul's Residence in The Pas.

Thirty-six cases are now active in the Island Lake district. Other districts with double-digit active cases include the Thompson/Mystery Lake district (15 cases), Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake (11) and "unknown district" (10). All other districts have fewer than 10 active cases, including Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon, which has one remaining active case in the Snow Lake region.

No new public exposures or outbreaks have been announced in northern communities Nov. 20.

Elsewhere in Manitoba, COVID-19 is exploding. The province has a test positivity rate over the past five days of 13.7 per cent. In Steinbach, Roussin said the 10-day test positivity rate has hit 40 per cent.

Within Steinbach - a community of  15,829 people and the site of a prominent anti-mask rally last weekend - 701 people either currently have COVID-19, have had COVID-19 and recovered or have died from COVID-19. Almost 4.5 per cent of Steinbach has tested positive for COVID-19. In nearby areas - Roussin mentioned the health districts of Hanover and Ste. Anne/La Broquerie - test positivity has hovered above 20 per cent, well above the provincial average.

Cases by northern Manitoba district active cases recoveries deaths total cases
The Pas/Opaskwayak/Kelsey 190 107 2 299
Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin 69 8 0 77
Cross Lake/Pimicikamak 67 13 0 80
Island Lake 36 4 1 41
Thompson/Mystery Lake 15 56 0 71
Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake 11 11 0 22
Unknown district 10 28 0 38
Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb 5 0 0 5
Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake 3 5 0 8
Sayisi Dene/Tadoule/Barren Lands/Brochet/Northlands/Lac Brochet 3 2 0 5
Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake 2 5 1 8
Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon 1 6 0 7
Nelson House/Nisichawayasihk 0 8 0 8
Bay Line 0 3 0 3
Gillam/Fox Lake 0 2 0 2
Norway House 0 1 0 1
Churchill (covered by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) 0 0 0 0
Case totals as of Nov. 20 412 259 4 675


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