15 new northern cases reported, case loads climb in The Pas, Thompson, exposures announced

In northern Manitoba, COVID-19 apparently doesn't take weekends off.

15 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in northern Manitoba Saturday. Thompson/Mystery Lake now has 17 active cases of COVID-19, while The Pas/OCN/Kelsey has 15 active cases as of Saturday.

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The region as a whole has 58 active cases of COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, 32 people have had the disease in northern Manitoba and recovered. Five people in northern Manitoba are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 - one of those people is in intensive care.

While the districts for The Pas and Thompson cover over half of the active cases in the region as of Saturday, 26 people outside these communities currently have COVID-19 in northern Manitoba. The district with the most active COVID-19 cases outside the two larger centres is Cross Lake/Pimicikamak, where five people currently have COVID-19. Island Lake, Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake and Nelson House/Nisichawaysihk districts each have three active cases. Three cases are currently marked as "unknown district," indicating full contact tracing and health investigations have not yet been completed for those cases.

Four districts, including the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon district, have two active COVID-19 cases. Those two cases are both tied to Hudbay facilities in Snow Lake - both people who tested positive are Hudbay employees and close contacts of one another. No new cases have been found in the district since Oct. 22.

The other districts with two active cases are the Bay Line, Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake, and Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake districts. Seven people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake district have since recovered.

One case is now active in the Norway House district.

Province-wide, Manitoba reported 153 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, including 91 cases in Winnipeg alone. Four of the five Manitoba health regions reported new cases in the double digits - only one, Prairie Mountain Health, reported fewer than 10. Two people - both women in their 70s from the Winnipeg region - have died in the past 24 hours. Manitoba has now had 50 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with the amount of deaths spiking in October. Manitoba has averaged at least one death per day during the month - 28 people have died from COVID-19 in Manitoba this month alone.

New restrictions for northern Manitoba will be laid out Monday, including strict limits on gatherings - no more than five people are allowed for gatherings, with some exceptions - and new rules for schools enforcing social distancing. Five northern Manitoba schools - three in The Pas and two in Thompson - have had reported COVID-19 cases within the school and have reported possible exposures.

No possible exposures to COVID-19 have been announced in the Flin Flon district.

The provincial government has listed the following locations as possible COVID-19 exposure sites:

Margaret Barbour Collegiate in The Pas (a person who tested positive was at the school Oct. 14 and 16 when they may have been infectious)

Scotiabank at the Otineka Mall in OCN Oct. 13, 14 and 15

R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson Oct. 15 and 16

Opasquia Elementary School in The Pas Oct. 16

Scott Bateman Middle School in The Pas Oct. 16

Assiniboine Credit Union in Gillam Oct. 13-16 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. each day

Salon Italia in Thompson Oct. 9 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

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