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Surge of COVID-19 infections continues as Manitoba reports 302 new cases

Manitoba is reporting more than 300 new COVID-19 infections for the second time in three days, as the number of breakthrough cases in fully-vaccinated Manitobans rises.

Health officials say 302 new cases were identified across the province as of Tuesday morning — just over three-quarters of the cases are reported in people who have received two doses of vaccine.

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On Sunday, Manitoba saw its highest single-day increase in cases since June with 333 infections before another 200 infections were reported Monday.

Of the 200 cases reported Monday, well over half — 125 infections — were also reported among fully vaccinated individuals.

Manitoba stops identifying most close contacts as COVID-19 infections surge

Manitoba stops identifying most close contacts as COVID-19 infections surge

The province has stopped providing updates on COVID-19 data on Saturdays and Sundays, but health data released Friday also showed a majority of the day’s cases — 147 of 239 infections — were found in the fully vaccinated.

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Health officials have previously warned the vaccine may not provide full protection against the more-contagious Omicron variant and have encouraged those who are eligible for a third dose to get the booster shot as soon as possible.

Global News reached out to the province for comment on the rise in breakthrough cases Tuesday, but were told to wait to ask questions at a planned press conference with health officials Wednesday.

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They also wouldn’t provide an update on how many cases of the Omicron variant have been found in Manitoba as of Tuesday.

“We are working to provide as much new, relevant information as possible online and through media responses. However, the teams also have important work to address, so we encourage media to bring requests that are not specific or statistical to the weekly media availabilities,” a government spokesperson said in an email.

“It would be fair to say any upsurge in cases is disturbing and as noted at many of our regular briefings, we need Manitobans to do their part, follow the fundamentals, get vaccinated and limit their contacts.”

Click to play video: 'Manitoba tightens public health orders amid Omicron scare'

Manitoba tightens public health orders amid Omicron scare

Manitoba tightens public health orders amid Omicron scare

On Monday officials announced nine more cases of the Omicron variant had been identified since Friday, for a total of 17.

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There are now 2,316 active COVID-19 cases across the province, 57 per cent of which are among fully-vaccinated people, according to provincial data.

Health officials have warned Manitoba is likely to see a sharp rise in new cases — as many as 1,000 a day by early January — as the more-contagious Omicron variant spreads across the province.

No deaths, test-positivity rate climbing

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate rose to 8.6 per cent Tuesday, up from 8.0 per cent Monday and a full two points higher than just a week ago.

There were no new deaths reported on the province’s online COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday.

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The majority of Tuesday’s new cases — 200 infections — were found in the Winnipeg Health region.

Manitoba Health.

Manitoba Health

Another 47 cases were reported in the Southern Health region, 30 were found in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 11 were reported in the Northern Health region and 14 were found in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

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Health data shows 60 of Tuesday infections are among people who had yet to be vaccinated, while 12 were partially vaccinated and 230 were fully vaccinated.

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More details on the latest COVID-19 data — including an update on any new Omicron cases — are expected in the province’s next COVID-19 media release Wednesday.

Meanwhile, officials said there are 133 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning, 26 of whom are in intensive-care units.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba parents keeping students home amid rising cases, Omicron concerns'

Manitoba parents keeping students home amid rising cases, Omicron concerns

Manitoba parents keeping students home amid rising cases, Omicron concerns

According to a provincial site tracking vaccinations, 84.5 per cent of eligible Manitobans aged five and up have received one dose of vaccine and 78.2 per cent have received two shots. Of those eligible for a third dose, 15.5 per cent have gotten the booster.

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Officials said 3,485 tests for the virus were completed Monday.

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Since March 2020, Manitoba has now reported 71,888 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 68,206 have since recovered, according to health data.

So far the deaths of 1,366 Manitobans have been linked to COVID-19.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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