WINNIPEG - Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer says having the lowest daily new COVID-19 case counts since mid-April is cause for hope, but pressure on the health care system will likely remain high over the next couple of weeks.
The province has recorded less than 200 daily new cases in recent days, a vast improvement from the more than 600 seen in May. The positive test rate is also dropping.
But Dr. Brent Roussin says the demand for ICU beds continues to be high, as more than 25 Manitobans receive treatment in hospitals outside the province to ensure those beds are available for incoming patients.
Roussin says it may take about two weeks for hospital capacity to begin to return to normal, noting the reason for the projected improvement is data linking whether someone was vaccinated against COVID-19 and their hospital care outcome.
“Our data is showing that the vast majority of people being admitted to ICU are unvaccinated,” Roussin says. “Not trying to cast any blame on people — There (are) lots of reasons why someone may not have been vaccinated as of yet. The point being is showing the benefit of the vaccine. We’re not seeing really any Manitobans being vaccinated and admitted to ICU.”
The province has expanded eligibility for getting a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to anyone who got their first dose on or before May 10. More than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the province, representing 69.3 per cent of Manitobans age 12 and up.
Appointments to get a vaccine can be made online, or by calling 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222), but walk-in appointments are also available without an appointment at the super site at 770 Leila Ave. in Winnipeg: Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.