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COVID-19 cases rise in far north east Sask., but Flin Flon, Creighton, Denare Beach stay pat

Fourth wave planning in effect, NDP calls for Manitoba modelling

All is quiet on the prairie COVID-19 front, especially around Flin Flon and surrounding communities - but preparations are coming for a possible fourth wave storm.

As of August 10, the far north east 2 health zone - which covers Creighton, Denare Beach, Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay and other area communities - has 24 active cases of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon district’s streak of having no active COVID-19 cases was broken last week, with a single new case being reported late in the week. That case remains the only active case in the district as of August 10.

The COVID-19 situation in northern Manitoba has calmed significantly as of late. Only one community in the Northern Health Region (NHR) - The Pas/OCN/Kelsey - has more than 20 active COVID-19 cases, sporting 36 as of August 10. That number is likely inflated - while the area continues to report new cases, recoveries have not been reported at a similar rate yet in the district.

COVID-19 cases in Manitoba are hovering around the mid-500s province-wide, with hospitalizations declining and intensive care units once filled with Manitobans receiving treatment begin to slow down. A total of 89 people, as of August 9, are in Manitoba hospitals due to COVID-19, including four northern residents. Of those people, only 14 people are in need of intensive care due to the disease -a far cry from the triple digits seen in both categories as close as late last spring. No Manitobans in need of medical care are now in other provinces - a measure taken at the time because Manitoba’s ICUs were hitting capacity during the third wave.

No new possible public exposures or COVID-19 outbreaks were announced by Manitoba health officials August 9 or 10.

For more district-by-district case information for northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, see the table below.


Fourth wave

With the third wave having now crested in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, health officials are now preparing for an expected fourth wave, fuelled by the Delta B.1.617.2 COVID-19 variant.

Manitoba health officials and the provincial government have not yet released any modelling on how the variant could impact COVID-19 rates, despite calls from the official opposition and from medical professionals alike. The variant has shown higher rates of transmission and more severe side effects than other variants and has proven able to infect some people who are already fully vaccinated, though vaccinated people still have far lower rates of hospitalization, severe symptoms or death from the variant.

When asked at an August 9 news conference, deputy provincial public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal said that the province’s Delta model was still not yet ready for public release. Calls for Manitoba Delta modelling to be released have been made for months, to no avail.

Manitoba NDP health critic Uzoma Azagwara said the province should release whatever data modelling they currently have in anticipation of both a possible fourth wave and a return to in-class learning in schools next month - especially considering that children age 12 and younger are not yet approved by Health Canada to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Asagwara had previously called for the release of Manitoba Delta modelling last month - a group of Manitoba doctors had also called for Delta modelling to be released in June.

"In order for Manitobans to trust the PCs reopening and back to school plan, they need to see the data to back it up. It’s irresponsible for Health Minister Heather Stefanson to continue to hide the Delta modeling from concerned Manitobans as her government moves forward with its reopening plan,” said Asagwara, adding they felt the information was key to families.

“With the return to school around the corner and growing concerns about a fourth wave, families need this critical information today."

Cases by northern district (Manitoba) active cases recoveries deaths total cases
Bay Line 0 69 0 69
Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake 2 492 6 500
Churchill (covered by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) 0 1 0 1
Cross Lake/Pimicikamak 1 737 8 746
Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon 1 283 3 287
Gillam/Fox Lake 0 88 0 88
Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin 7 717 8 732
Island Lake 13 1734 8 1755
Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake 0 346 3 349
Nelson House/Nisichawayasihk 1 46 0 47
Norway House 2 56 0 58
Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb 1 439 2 442
Sayisi Dene/Tadoule/Barren Lands/Brochet/Northlands/Lac Brochet 3 61 1 65
Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake 14 615 3 632
The Pas/Opaskwayak/Kelsey 36 819 11 866
Thompson/Mystery Lake 1 1004 3 1008
Unknown district 1 363 0 364
Case totals as of August 10 83 7870 56 8009
Cases by northern district (Saskatchewan) active cases recoveries deaths total cases
Far north west 78 2875 32 2985
Far north central 25 405 3 433
Far north east 54 2420 20 2494
North west 31 4696 83 4810
North central 69 4520 61 4650
North east 12 1607 13 1632
Case totals as of August 10 269 16523 212 17004