Six new northern Manitoba cases, 170 total new cases, Cross Lake locks down, northern recoveries up

COVID-19 numbers in northern Manitoba are still climbing, but there are some silver linings.

Manitoba reported 170 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, including six new cases in northern Manitoba. In the northern region, 68 people currently have COVID-19. Four people in the region are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with nobody in intensive care.

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Out of those 68 cases, The Pas/OCN/Kelsey has 30 active cases of COVID-19, while Thompson/Mystery Lake has 11 active cases and Cross Lake/Pimicikamak has 10. 

The remaining 17 active cases are spread out throughout the region - three cases each in the Island Lake and Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville districts, five cases listed as "unknown district" and two cases in the Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake district. Four districts have one active case - Bay Line, Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon (the active case is in Snow Lake and was reported last week), Norway House and Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake.

The Cross Lake Band of Indians announced its own lockdown Oct. 27 after it was announced that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a funeral in the community Oct. 18 during a period where they may have been infectious. Rapid tests have been used in the community, apparently adding several cases that have not yet been shown in provincial statistics.

"We presently have the rapid response team in our community of Cross Lake, who are testing contacts from the original positive cases in the community," reads the band's statement.

"Three positive cases have been identified today [Oct. 27] through the rapid testing process. These people and their contacts will have to self-isolate and wait for further notice from public health."

At Cross Lake, residents are advised to stat at home and only essential services are open to the public. Schools, day cares and headstart programs have been shut down, with a checkpoint set up on the way into the community and travel into or out of the community shut down except for people delivering food, fuel, medical supplies or other deliveries. People who leave the community for medical appointments will not be allowed back in until Nov. 2. Homes of people who are under self-isolation will be marked by the band and a 24-hour curfew is in effect.

While the region reported six new cases, the total active case count in the north only increased by two people - the numbers released by the province Oct. 27 showed 66 active cases. Recoveries are starting to outnumber active cases in some jurisdictions, including in Thompson/Mystery Lake, where 23 people have had COVID-19 and later recovered. In Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake, the active case load has dropped to one, with eight people - including seven members of a family in York Landing who contracted the disease when a family member was exposed in Winnipeg during medical treatment - now recovered.

No deaths have been reported in northern Manitoba.

that picture is different province-wide, where active cases and deaths continue to mount. Three more deaths were announced due to COVID-19 Wednesday - one man in his 80s from Winnipeg linked to an outbreak at Victoria Hospital, a woman in her 80s from the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA) whose case is linked to an outbreak at Misericordia Place and a man in his 40s from the IERHA.

Over the past five days, 7.3 of all COVID-19 tests completed in Manitoba have come up positive. The province announced 3,437 tests for COVID-19 were completed Tuesday.

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