COVID-19 Update — June 21, 2021
Since our last update on Friday:
- Daily cases continue to come down: 307 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified since Friday, including just 74 today. We have had two consecutive days with less than 100 cases in Manitoba The total case count in Manitoba now stands at 55,405.
- Test positivity decreasing: the five-day test positivity rate is 8.0%, down slightly from 8.3% on Friday. It is 6.9% in Winnipeg, down from 8.3%.
- Active cases continue on a downward trend: There are 2,075 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, down 361 from 2,436.
- Hospitalizations are coming down, but remain too high: There are 231 people in Manitoba hospitals due to COVID-19, down from 238. This includes 58 COVID-related patients in Manitoba ICUs, down from 60 on Friday. There are also 15 Manitoba patients in out-of-province ICUs, down from 20 on Friday.
- One death reported today and another nine over the weekend brings the total of COVID-19 related deaths to 1,125.
As Manitoba has reached the July 1 reopening milestone early, with over 75% of eligible Manitobans vaccinated with one dose, and over 25% with two doses, Dr. Roussin was asked today if the reopening happen earlier. He pointed out that other factors are also considered, including our case counts and hospital capacity, and said public health is reviewing this carefully and an announcement is expected on Wednesday.
Over the last few days, questions have arisen about Manitoba’s reopening plan being too cautious compared to other provinces, or not cautious enough as concerns increase about the potential impact of the Delta variant. Dr. Roussin pointed out that Manitoba’s plan came out later and reflects that our third wave arrived later than most other provinces.
Eligibility for second doses expanded today to include all those who received their first dose on or before May 25 and will expand to May 29 tomorrow.
Vaccine Town Halls Reminder
Please help us spread the invitation (not the virus!) for our public vaccine town halls this week. We are hosting four town halls starting tonight. Our aim is to answer community members’ questions in an effort to help Manitobans better understand the vaccines.
These are non-judgmental events and all questions are invited. We have already received some questions that are clearly influenced by misinformation, but people genuinely seem to be seeking factual information from physicians as a trusted source.
The following town halls are planned this week:
- Town Hall for All — Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 pm
- Town Hall for Youth and Parents — Tuesday, June 22 at 6:30 pm
- Town Hall for Morden/Winkler and Southern Manitoba — Monday, June 21 at 6:30 pm
- Town Hall for Steinbach and Southeastern Manitoba — Thursday, June 24 at 6:30 pm
Please help spread the word:
Post on social media! We have social media graphics you can use. Try a supportive and inviting post, such as:
- Still not sure about the COVID-19 vaccines? You’re not alone. Join one of the vaccine town halls physicians are holding next week where doctors will respond to questions and concerns from the public. Learn more at https://www.manitobavaccine.ca/townhall/
Send a message to all of your patients inviting them to attend. You can use the images on our site and invite patients with questions to attend the town halls or to contact your office if they have questions or concerns.
Indigenous Peoples Day
Today, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. It is important for all settler Manitobans to learn about and celebrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture. In order to move toward Reconciliation, it’s also imperative that non-Indigenous Manitobans recognize, acknowledge and work to change the complex system-level factors that remain a barrier in giving Indigenous people opportunity and access to equity.
As physicians, you play an important role in this. In an interview with CBC, Dr. Catherine Cook noted that “many Indigenous people suffer from chronic ill health and poor health outcomes due to a complex web of factors…If we hope to change the future for Indigenous and other marginalized people, we need to work together to get to the root causes.”
We invite you to share resources with us that we can share with members. Here is a list of just a few of the resources and articles we have come across:
Webinar on Vaccines and Variants
PHAC is hosting a Variants and Vaccines webinar for health care providers. The one hour webinar will highlight national surveillance systems, key findings on the efficacy of vaccines on VOCs and how predictive epidemiological models can inform forecasts and response. They will present the webinar in both French and English.