The number of hospitalizations of Manitoba residents who have contracted COVID-19 has passed 500.
And with an increase of 18 people on Friday, the county will have 517 hospitalized COVID patients, and five more people have died.
Public health officials in Manitoba said the number of people infected with the virus currently stands at 45, down two from Thursday.
The county also reported 1,215 new cases, however, that number is not accurate, due to changes in how the county collects COVID-19 case data. Most Manitobans who order a test will receive a rapid antigen test, and results are not recorded. Those who test positive and meet specific criteria are then given a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
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As of Friday, a total of 64,328 first doses were given to children ages 5 to 11, or 51.4 percent of that age group.
County officials said Thursday afternoon that schools will no longer notify close contacts of individual cases, but will report on staff and students through normal channels.
Public Health will investigate and make recommendations if COVID-19 activity in the school indicates transmission above expected community levels.
The county said the recommendations — in cases where there is an increase in transmission — could include implementing a period of rapid antigen testing or other preventive measures, going so far as to recommend a week of distance learning if necessary.
“The Omicron variant is not going away and we need to learn to live with the virus. That means adjusting our way of thinking from trying to contain the virus to trying to mitigate our risks,” said Dr. Brent Rossen, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
-With files from Sam Thompson
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