A Manitoba man in his 80s with COVID-19 has died, marking the province’s ninth fatality connected to the illness.

The man was from the City of Portage la Prairie health district and was in intensive care, the province said in a news bulletin on Saturday.

His case was previously reported and linked to a known COVID-19 cluster, the bulletin said.

Manitoba’s last fatality linked to the illness was on July 22, when a man in his 70s in the Southern Health region died. He had not been previously hospitalized and was considered a new COVID-19 case, the province said at the time.

On Saturday, a spokesperson said the province will not release further details about Manitoba’s latest coronavirus-linked death — including when the man died, and which cluster his case was linked to — unless there’s a risk to public health, citing privacy and respect for the man’s family.

(Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Twenty new cases of the illness were also announced in Manitoba on Saturday, bringing the province’s active caseload to 211.

Eleven of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, the bulletin said. Those cases involve several young people: a girl under the age of nine and two boys and a girl between 10 and 19. Those cases also include two men and a woman in their 20s, a man and a woman in their 30s, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 60s.

Preliminary investigations suggest that several of the new cases in Winnipeg are linked to travel or close contact with a known case of COVID-19, the bulletin said. More information will be released if there are any public health risks.

(Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Another six of the new cases are in the province’s Southern Health region. They include a boy between 10 and 19, a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 80s.

The remaining three cases are in the Prairie Mountain Health region: a woman in her 30s and two men in their 40s.

Nine people are now in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba, including three in intensive care. There have been 663 cases of the illness caused by the new coronavirus identified in Manitoba.

Test positivity rate rises

Manitoba’s test positivity rate rose to 1.49 per cent from 1.25 per cent on Friday.To date, 443 people have recovered from the illness.

On Friday, 1,791 more COVID-19 tests were completed in Manitoba, bringing the total number done in the province to 112,283.

(Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Public health officials are still only recommending people with COVID-19 symptoms be tested for the illness, the bulletin said.

People who get sick should be tested as soon as possible once they start having symptoms, and employers should only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health, the bulletin said.

Highest active caseload to date on Friday

On Friday, Manitoba announced 40 new cases of the illness caused by the new coronavirus, which brought the province’s active caseload to 246 — breaking its record for active cases and matching its previous record for the highest single-day jump in cases.

A COVID-19 cluster in Brandon, Man. has now reached at least 64 cases, making it one of the province’s largest outbreaks. As of Friday, there were at least 42 known cases of the illness linked to the southwestern Manitoba city’s Maple Leaf Foods pork processing plant.

The province also warned people on Friday about three possible COVID-19 exposures across Manitoba. One was at a Sobeys on Aug. 7, another was at the Cartwright Town and Country Golf Club on Aug. 9 and the third was at the Minnedosa Hospital on Aug. 10.

(Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

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