COVID-19 Update — April 26, 2021
In today’s message to our members you will find:
- A Situation Update showing all indicators have increased;
- New restrictions outlined by the province;
- Information on tonight’s vaccine webinar with Dr. Joss Reimer;
- Vaccine Updates;
- A milestone for ManitobaVaccine.ca; and
- A special gift from CAA to healthcare workers.
Since our last update on Friday, all COVID surveillance indicators have increased:
- Daily cases up: Another 739 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, including 210 today. This brings the total case count in Manitoba to 37,808.
- Test positivity up: The five-day test positivity rate is 7.6%, up from 6.5%. It is 8.2% in Winnipeg, up from 6.8%.
- Active cases up: There are 2,093 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, up from our last report of 1,739.
- Hospitalization up: There are 148 people in hospital, up from 144. This includes 37 people in ICU, up from 35.
- Four new deaths related to COVID-19 were identified, including one today. The total number of deaths is 968.
Recognizing the escalating situation, Dr. Brent Roussin and the Premier announced a series of new restrictions today to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Roussin drew attention to how quickly cases are increasing. He explained it is very similar to what we saw last fall, but now there’s also concerning variants spreading that are more transmissible and result in more serious outcomes. Today, the average age among ICU patients is 56, much lower than in the second wave.
Hospitalizations are up 56% from last week.
The new orders take effect this Wednesday, and will remain in effect likely for four weeks (including May long weekend).
Gatherings will be restricted in several ways:
- No indoor or outdoor visitors to private residences, with specific exceptions for individuals living alone.
- In public places, no indoor gatherings are permitted and outdoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people.
- Faith-based gatherings are limited to 25% capacity or 10 people, whichever is smaller, with masks required at all times.
Restaurant, retail and service operations are restricted as follows:
- Patio dining is limited to four people with no household restrictions, and food courts must be closed.
- Personal service businesses can operate at 50% capacity , but appointments will be required.
- Retail stores are now limited to 25% capacity, or up to 250 patrons, whichever is smaller.
Other changes include:
- Gyms and fitness centres can remain open at 25% capacity, but distancing between individuals is increased to 3 metres (9 feet).
- Spectators at outdoor spots or recreation facilities is limited to one parent or caregiver per youth participant with physical distancing.
- Dance, theatre and music schools can remain open at 25% capacity up to 10 people on site with physical distancing.
- Day camps, both indoors and outdoors, are limited to 10 children.
Dr. Roussin offered some hope, noting that with the vaccine rollout continuing, “this very well could be our last strict orders.”
Join Us Tonight — Vaccine Webinar with Dr. Reimer
Join us tonight at 6:30PM for a town hall about the COVID-19 vaccines with provincial Medical Lead with the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, Dr. Joss Reimer.
Learn more about the rollout, the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and get an official update directly from Dr. Reimer. We will save time for a Q&A session for physicians’ concerns and questions will follow. You can submit questions in advance during the registration process. Live questions will also be accepted during the webinar.
Webinar Town Hall with Dr. Joss Reimer
When: Monday, April 26 at 6:30PM
Register: Click here to register
The vaccine rollout continues in Manitoba:
- Vaccine “hot spot” eligibility expanded to include all adults in northern Manitoba and more neighbourhoods in north Winnipeg. You can view a map here.
- Eligibility in government-run super sites and pop up clinics remains unchanged at age 50+ (or 30+ for First Nations). In medical clinics, eligibility is age 40 and over.
- 32.9% of Manitoba adults (or 25.5% of all Manitobans) have received at least one dose, up from 29.9%.
We understand Manitoba will receive its first shipment of the “one shot” Johnson and Johnson vaccine as early as this week. It is a small shipment, about 11,000, and we are engaging with provincial officials to urge for a greater share of these doses to be allocated to doctors’ offices.
Like the AstraZeneca shot, the J&J shot has had a potential safety issue with blood clots. It was paused in the U.S. while the FDA and CDC investigated. The pause was lifted after their investigation found the issue was incredibly rare, and that this vaccine “is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.” You can review a summary of their safety review here.
Confidence among the public in the AstraZeneca vaccine took a hit after the VITT issue received wide media coverage. Angus Reid released a new poll today that shows a rebound in public confidence in this vaccine, which they say is driven by expanded eligibility and assurances from medical professionals about the benefits outweighing the risks. This reinforces the important role physicians play in responding to vaccine hesitancy.
Their research has also uncovered a concerning trend in hesitancy around the J&J vaccine. Assurances from physicians will be critical on restoring confidence in this vaccine too.
Doctors Manitoba continues to maintain two important vaccine resources:
- For physicians: Our Vaccine Resource Centre includes resources and information, including sample patient messaging, a billing guide, a vaccine hesitancy guide and more.
- For your patients: Our public vaccine hub, ManitobaVaccine.ca, continues to offer your patients answers to common vaccine questions, including when individuals will become eligible.
Over 200,000 Manitobans have checked their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines at ManitobaVaccine.ca!
Doctors Manitoba set up this vaccine resource for the public to help reassure Manitobans that physicians trust the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines. We had heard from physicians that their patients need vaccine answers they could trust, and that they need help finding out when they will be eligible.
Our public survey found that about half of Manitobans were aware of our site, and among those who had visited the site, 93% found it helpful. The site had over 400,000 visits since it launched in March.
Thanks from CAA
CAA Manitoba wants to say thanks to physicians and other health providers for your hard work and dedication. CAA is bringing back free roadside assistance to our heroes on the front-lines of COVID, those in health care and emergency response fields. Service can be requested by calling *222 or 1−800−222−4357.
“At CAA, our highest priority is and will always be the health and safety of our Members, customers, associates and the extended community,” said Tim Scott, President of CAA Manitoba. “We are a care-driven organization and proud to once again offer free roadside assistance to front line healthcare workers and first responders to show our appreciation and thank them for their service and commitment during this ongoing pandemic. ”
This free service is being offered to CAA Members and non-Members alike. If you are a CAA Member and a healthcare worker or first responder, these calls will not be counted on your Membership. Last year, a similar free roadside assistance offer resulted in 3,900 services assisting health care workers and first responders in Ontario and Manitoba.