Manitoba COVID-19 Model Shows One Death for Every 48 Infections

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Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba chief public health officer, leaves after speaking at a COVID-19 update at the legislature in Winnipeg on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba has released new modelling that shows three people end up in hospital and one person dies for every 48 cases of COVID-19.

“We need to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities or we will continue to see these harsh effects,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

There were nine more deaths from COVID-19 and 320 new infections on Friday. There were also 361 people in hospital with 55 in intensive care.

The province brought in tighter measures last month, with restrictions on public gatherings and business openings, as it faced a significant surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths during the pandemic’s second wave.

Roussin said that if no public health measures had been put in place, there would have been up to 1,055 new daily infections by Sunday. Daily cases have been tracking between 300 and 500 recently.

But Roussin said the test positivity rate remains too high. The five-day test positivity rate on Thursday was 13.4 per cent provincially and 14.6 per cent in Winnipeg.

“It’s too early to say we are changing trajectory,” Roussin said.

The restrictions expire next Friday, but Roussin said he expects the majority will stay in place.

Chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said public-health orders have meant the province narrowly avoided “catastrophic” impacts on the health-care system. But hospitals and front-line workers remain under pressure.

“Case counts are still too high for our health system to be able to support the resulting pressure,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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