Northern Manitoba now leads province in active cases, ahead of Winnipeg; 70 new cases found

Another grim COVID-19 milestone has been passed for northern Manitoba. The region now has more active cases of COVID-19 than any other Manitoba health region, including Winnipeg.

The region is now up to 1,184 active cases, with 70 new cases reported in the region Wednesday. By contrast, the entire region of Winnipeg is down to 967 active cases - the Northern Health Region (NHR) is the only health region in Manitoba with over 1,000 active cases. Winnipeg, at around 750,000 people, has a population more than 10 times higher than northern Manitoba.

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Another death from COVID-19 has been reported in the north, this time in a man in his 50s from the Island Lake district.

No new cases have been reported in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon district - four people remain sick with the disease as of Wednesday, according to provincial data.

New information from the province shows a big jump in cases in the Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake district, going from 82 total cases Tuesday to 119 Wednesday. Of those cases, 95 people now have active cases. 

Case counts in the three districts with the highest reported numbers of cases - Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake, Island Lake and Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake - still remain high, but two districts did not report any increases in case numbers. One active case in the Bunibonibee district is now marked as recovered, while active cases listed in Island Lake have dropped by three. The Shamattawa districft didn't have the same luck, as four new active cases were reported there Wednesday.

The second biggest increase in cases seen in the region was in the Thompson/Mystery Lake district, where 14 new cases were found Wednesday. The news was joined by nine new recoveries, pushing the district's active case load up by five cases.

While northern Manitoba has seen a steady rise in cases over the past several weeks, the rest of Manitoba is showing declines in cases. The province as a whole is now down below 3,000 active cases for the first time in months - 2,928 people in Manitoba have what are considered active cases. Hospitalizations are declining as well, with 289 people now in Manitoba hospitals due to COVID-19 and 119 people with active cases in hospital. A total of 36 people are in intensive care due to COVID-19, with 19 of those people still seeing active cases. Over the past five days, 9.6 per cent of all people who have been tested for COVID-19 province-wide have come up as positive.

"Today's numbers continue to be encouraging," said Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health minister, in the province's Jan. 13 press briefing. Atwal added that while the news regarding cases looks hopeful province-wide, that shouldn't be seen as a reason to let up on health measures yet.

"The actions taken by Manitobans are making a difference - however, it's too early to start a victory lap. With positive cases identified on or around Dec. 25 and the close contacts related, it is necessary for us to buckle down for a little bit longer. I know has been hard and we've been asking you to do this for weeks now, but we can do this. If we let up now, all the hard work over the last several weeks could be for nothing. We could be back to where we started in November. We need to do this to bring our numbers down further and reduce the strain in our health care system." 

Five more deaths from COVID-19 were reported by the province - since the pandemic began, 753 people in Manitoba have died from COVID-19, about the same as the combined population of Cranberry Portage and Wanless.

No new public exposures or outbreaks were reported in the north by the province.


Manitoba's western neighbour reported 247 new cases of the disease, reporting nine new cases in the far north east health zone. That number includes one new case in the far north east 2 zone, which contains Creighton, Denare Beach, Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay and other communities near Flin Flon. There are 93 active cases within the far north east 2 zone. There 430 active cases in the far north east zone, with the vast majority centred in community outbreaks in and around La Ronge.

Saskatchewan is now up to 3,748 active cases, nearly a thousand more cases than Manitoba. The province has reported 19,017 total cases and 206 deaths from COVID-19, while 205 Saskatchewans are now in hospital due to COVID-19.

Cases by northern Manitoba district active cases recoveries deaths total cases
Bay Line 12 15 0 27
Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake 164 87 5 256
Churchill (covered by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) 0 1 0 1
Cross Lake/Pimicikamak 50 115 1 166
Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon 4 35 1 40
Gillam/Fox Lake 0 6 0 6
Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin 1 187 4 192
Island Lake 316 80 6 402
Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake 95 23 1 119
Nelson House/Nisichawayasihk 2 12 0 14
Norway House 37 9 0 46
Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb 8 6 0 14
Sayisi Dene/Tadoule/Barren Lands/Brochet/Northlands/Lac Brochet 5 13 0 18
Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake 334 34 1 369
The Pas/Opaskwayak/Kelsey 81 353 7 441
Thompson/Mystery Lake 68 291 0 359
Unknown district 7 74 0 81
Case totals as of Jan. 13 1184 1341 26 2551


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