Possible exposures to coronavirus variants on Winnipeg buses, to COVID-19 in city cab

Manitoba reports 57 more COVID-19 cases on Saturday as well as a number of exposures on Winnipeg Transit to more contagious coronavirus variants.

Most of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, with 26, and the Northern health region, with 23. There are also seven cases in the Southern Health region, one case in the Prairie Mountain Health region and none in the Interlake-Eastern health region.

The province is also reporting one death on Saturday. A man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the outbreak at Grace Hospital unit 3 south died, a provincial news release says.

That brings the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Manitoba to 933.

Manitoba’s test positivity rate is 4.2 per cent, down from 4.4, and Winnipeg’s rate dipped to 3.3 per cent.

The total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is up slightly to 143 on Saturday, from 142 the day before. That includes 28 patients in intensive care units, down from 31 on Friday.

The province now has 1,190 active cases of COVID-19, and 31,744 people have recovered from the illness.

Labs completed 2,043 COVID-19 tests on Thursday.

Outbreak and possible exposures

The province is reporting an outbreak at St. Anthony’s General Hospital’s acute care inpatient unit in The Pas.

There were a number of possible exposures to a more contagious coronavirus strain on board Winnipeg Transit earlier this month.

Route 59:

  • March 17: 6:20-6:45 a.m. from Woodydell and St. Anne Road to Fort Street and St. Mary Avenue.

Route 55:

  • March 17: 2:50-3:15 p.m. from Main Street and St. Mary Avenue to Woodydell and St. Anne’s Road

Route 60:

  • March 16 and 17: 8:00-8:20 a.m. from Pembina Highway and McGillvary Boulevard to Graham Avenue and Carlton Street.
  • March 16: 5:00-5:15 p.m. from Graham Avenue and Carlton Street to River Road and Osborne Street.
  • March 16: 6:00-6:30 p.m. from River Road and Osborne Street to Pembina Highway and McGillvary Boulevard.
  • March 17: 5:00-5:30 p.m. from Graham Avenue and Carlton Street to Pembina Highway and McGillvary Boulevard.

For more possible exposures, visit the province’s website.

There also may have been an exposure to COVID-19 earlier this month in a Duffy’s taxi, the province says.

The province lists possible exposure times as March 20 and 21 from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., and March 23 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in taxi #245.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links to be screened to see if a test is required.

This update comes after another 46 cases of the more contagious coronavirus variant of concern first detected in the U.K. were identified in Manitoba, public health officials announced on Friday.

Of the newly identified cases of the B117 coronavirus variant announced Friday, 44 are in the Winnipeg area and two are in the Southern Health region, acting deputy chief public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal said at a news conference.

Results from the Cadham Provincial Lab that screens samples for variants of concern are received by public health officials during weekdays, so no updates are available on the weekends, a provincial spokesperson said.

Manitoba also reported 116 more COVID-19 cases and three more deaths from the illness caused by the coronavirus.

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