Variant COVID-19 cases up, overall active cases down, Flin Flon now at six active cases

COVID-19 variant cases are seeing an increase in the Northern Health Region (NHR). Just over one week after the NHR reported its first variant of concern case, there are now 25 cases, either of unspecified variants or the B.1.1.7 variant. 

While no cases of the variants have been reported in the Flin Flon area, cases have been confirmed in both Thompson and The Pas, with possible public exposure events reported in Thompson in the past week. A new possible public exposure was reported in Thompson April 21 at a McDonalds restaurant April 8, 10, 11, 13 and 14. Anyone who visited the restaurant is asked to monitor for symptoms and, if they arise, to immediately isolate and present for a COVID-19 test.

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Overall, northern COVID-19 cases went down significantly April 22. A provincial government data correction has brought the number of active COVID-19 cases in northern Manitoba down dramatically. The region, which 711 listed cases Wednesday, now sits at 450 active cases after a backlog of cases were marked as recovered.

Most of the cases that were moved were in remote areas, including in several Indigenous communities. The biggest change in the north was seen in the Pukatawagan-Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) district, which now sits at 16 active cases of COVID-19 - as of Wednesday, 146 cases were listed as active in the district, an artificially high number because of provincial health reporting delays. The remote Island Lake district also saw cases drop, going from 348 active cases Wednesday to 240 Thursday. 

Despite the drop, numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the region remain high. Another 36 cases were marked in the NHR Thursday, with half of those new cases reported in Island Lake. Eight new cases were reported in the Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin district, with all other districts reporting new cases reporting three new cases or fewer.

No new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon district, which now sits at six active cases. Within Flin Flon, three cases have been reported recently at local schools in the past four weeks - two at Hapnot Collegiate and one at Ecole McIsaac School. None of the three cases have been announced as variants of concern. A fourth case was recently reported at Frontier Collegiate in Cranberry Portage, which is not being considered a variant of concern case. No further spread, aside from the four cases found in the past four weeks at these schools, has been reported.

In Thompson, 13 cases have been recently connected to local schools, including five variant of concern cases.

For more information about COVID-19 in northern Manitoba, see the table below.

Cases by northern district (Manitoba) active cases recoveries deaths total cases
Bay Line 0 63 0 63
Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/Gods River/Gods Lake 54 406 5 465
Churchill (covered by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) 0 0 0 0
Cross Lake/Pimicikamak 13 649 6 668
Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon 6 128 2 136
Gillam/Fox Lake 0 99 0 99
Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin 66 459 5 530
Island Lake 240 1378 7 1625
Lynn Lake/Marcel Colomb/Leaf Rapids/O-Pipon-Na-Piwin/Granville Lake 0 346 3 349
Nelson House/Nisichawayasihk 1 36 0 37
Norway House 0 55 0 55
Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb 19 420 0 439
Sayisi Dene/Tadoule/Barren Lands/Brochet/Northlands/Lac Brochet 1 25 1 27
Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake 21 475 2 498
The Pas/Opaskwayak/Kelsey 19 551 9 579
Thompson/Mystery Lake 7 959 3 969
Unknown district 3 124 0 127
Case totals as of April 22 450 6173 43 6666


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