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Omicron and Manitoba's Saturday through Monday cases

Here's a look at Omicron and Manitoba's current statistics
Omicron
Physical distancing continues to be considered a safety measure

Omicron and Manitoba's Saturday through Monday cases

The new variant, Omicron, sounds ominous. Is it more of the same?

Information from the most recent COVID-19 Manitoba report (Bulletin #543) indicates a rise in case numbers. As of Monday, over half of those cases are among fully vaccinated people.

Additionally, the omicron variant has been found in 17 Manitoba cases, to date. Now on the national scene, travellers from 10 previously named countries are no longer prohibited from entering Canada.

The retiring director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins (retiring this December after serving for 12 years) was interviewed by Public National Radio in the USA and he said the high contagion of Omicron could pose trouble (measured by hospitalizations) whether or not it produces less serious illness, generally.

Collins says, “early data shows that while omicron has the ability to easily evade immune protection and booster shots, those infected may be less likely to experience severe disease and hospitalization.”

As of Dec. 19, both Dr. Collins and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead with the World Health Organization (interviewed on Science In 5), say this version of the virus continues to be a danger to vulnerable people. Just as with the original and variant strains so far, cases range from zero symptoms in some people, to mild symptoms, and can be a serious disease in some people. She also says people have died with Omicron.

So, because omicron spreads rapidly, it is expected to bring a greater load on our medical system.

Van Kerkhove says the biggest factor is to reduce exposure to the Covid virus and to continue physical distancing, wearing well-fitted masks, clean hands, avoid crowds, and improve ventilation indoors. She advises increased vaccination of those most at risk.

A British doctor, a retired Nurse Teacher based in England, Dr. John Campbell provides interesting information in a calm and measured manner. He supplies some surprising statistics, discusses research at Hong Kong University and he says Omicron now represents 60 per cent of the cases in the UK, as one might expect given its renowned rapid replication. Campbell's presentation can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84XMFVcLScw)

Details from Manitoba public health

Over the weekend, Manitoba’s public health officials report six new deaths in people with COVID-19 are being reported between Saturday through Monday.

  • a male in his 70s from the Interlake-Eastern health region
  • a female in her 60s from the Southern Health-Santé Sud region
  • a male in his 60s from the Interlake-Eastern health region
  • a male in his 80s from the Southern Health-Santé Sud region
  • a male in his 70s from the Southern Health-Santé Sud region linked to an outbreak at Manitoba Developmental Centre
  • a male in his 50s from Prairie Mountain Health

 

As of 9:30 a.m. today, 809 new cases of the virus have been identified since Friday: 276 cases on Saturday, Dec. 18; 333 cases on Sunday, Dec. 19; and 200 cases today. This includes:

 

Region

Cases

Interlake-Eastern health region

36

Northern health region

67

Prairie Mountain Health region

57

Southern Health-Santé Sud health region

136

Winnipeg health region

513

 

Four cases have been removed due to data correction. The total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba is 71,590.

There were 200 new cases identified in Manitoba today. Of these, 75 are in individuals who were not fully vaccinated. This includes:

Region

Cases

Not Fully Vaccinated

Interlake-Eastern health region

four

zero

Northern health region

28

14

Prairie Mountain Health region

16

seven

Southern Health-Santé Sud health region

23

16

Winnipeg health region

129

38

 

Today’s data also shows:

  • 2,183 active cases and 68,041 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19;
  • 137 Manitobans hospitalized with COVID-19 including 86 people with active COVID-19 as well as 51 people who are no longer infectious; 
  • a total of 27 Manitoba patients receiving intensive care for COVID-19 including 21 people in intensive care units with active COVID-19 as well as six people who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care;
  • Nine new cases of B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant have been confirmed in Manitoba for a total of 17;
  • 2,285 laboratory tests were completed yesterday bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 1,233,761; and
  • the total number of deaths in people with COVID-19 is 1,366.  

Outbreaks have been declared over at:

  • Misericordia Health Centre, Transitional Care Unit (TCU), C5. 

With the introduction of the omicron variant of concern, Manitoba is anticipating a surge in COVID-19 cases similar to that seen in other countries and provinces. Manitoba is shifting public health resources to increase vaccination rates and support treatment. For more information on the changes and additional resources, visit https://manitoba.ca/covid19/testing/monitoring/index.html.

Vaccine

To have the fullest protection possible against COVID-19 going into the holiday season, Manitobans are encouraged to get their second and third doses as quickly as possible. While COVID-19 vaccine appointments continue to be available at regional or provincial vaccine clinics, for many people the fastest way to be immunized is at a nearby medical clinic, pharmacy or urban Indigenous clinic. Check the online vaccine finder or a medical clinic or pharmacy near you that provides the COVID-19 vaccine to find the next available opportunity to be immunized.

The timeline between second and third doses and eligibility criteria information can be found at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html.

A total of 2,345,656 doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba, including 53,414 first doses given to children ages five to 11. This represents 42.7 per cent of children in that age group. As of today, 84.4 per cent of all eligible Manitobans ages five and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 78.2 per cent have received two doses and 14.5 per cent have received three doses.

Many Manitoba vaccine sites as well as pharmacies and clinics are offering walk-in and appointment-based vaccination for COVID and seasonal flu. Eligible individuals can book their appointments online, by calling (toll-free) 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or by contacting their local pharmacy or medical clinic directly. Visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/finder.html for some of the available options.

More Resources

Restrictions

New restrictions are in place this week ahead of Christmas, that limits the number of visitors to a private dwelling to 10 unless all can provide vaccine cards, but check the details here https://www.manitoba.ca/covid19/prs/orders/index.html