Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba chief public health officer, speaks during the province's latest COVID-19 update at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Saturday, March 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba is reporting three new COVID-19 deaths on Monday, bringing the death toll to 832.

The new numbers were revealed during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Two of the deaths were in the Southern Health Region, men in their 70s and 80s, and are linked to an outbreak at Heritage Life Personal Care Home in Niverville.

The third death is a woman in her 80s from Winnipeg, not linked to an outbreak.

  COVID-19 deaths Manitoba
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Manitoba also reported 89 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, though the province also removed two previous cases due to a data correction.

Since March 2020, 29,651 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in Manitoba.

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Manitoba’s five-day test-positivity rate is 7.9 per cent. The test-positivity rate for Winnipeg is 4.2 per cent.

The majority of new cases announced were in the Northern Health Region, with 42 new cases, along with the Interlake-Eastern Health Region with 22 cases. Winnipeg reported 18 new cases, while four new cases were identified in the Southern Health region and three in the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

The province said there are 3,466 active COVID-19 cases, and 25,353 people have recovered.

There are 104 people hospitalized with active cases of COVID-19, with 27 people in intensive care. The province said 151 people are in hospital with COVID-19 but are no longer considered infectious. Eleven patients are in intensive care units who are no longer infectious but still require care.

  COVID-19 in Manitoba by regions
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INCREASING SURGICAL ACTIVITY IN MANITOBA

Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Shared Health, said the hospitalization numbers on Monday are the lowest numbers since Nov. 18.

“These numbers represent considerable progress from nearly two months ago when we peaked at 388 hospitalizations and 129 patients in the ICU,” she said.

Manitoba completed 1,603 tests for COVID-19 on Sunday. Since February 2020, 478,810 laboratory tests have been completed in Manitoba.

Siragusa added there are plans to resume some surgical procedures and increase surgical capacity in Manitoba

She said Misericordia Health Centre in Winnipeg will start doing more eye surgeries and pediatric dental procedures today, and added an additional slate of surgeries is “tentatively” being planned for Concordia Hospital, where more orthopedic, spinal, and plastic surgery procedures would be performed.

In the Southern Health region, endoscopy procedures have resumed at Carman Hospital, and other surgical procedures have resumed at other sites in the region.

Siragusa said surgical staff who have been redeployed to work at COVID-19 units are now returning to their regular units.

“This is intended to be a slow and cautious shift, because we still have to care for COVID within our facilities,” she said, adding Manitobans should continue to be patient.

NON-ESSENTIAL ITEM LIST REMOVED FROM NORTHERN MANITOBA

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, also announced Monday the province would be removing the requirement for businesses in northern Manitoba to only sell essential items at midnight.

Northern Manitoba and Churchill remained under strict Code Red restrictions under the new public health orders, restricting stores in the region to selling only essential items.

“In the last two weeks we have seen a significant amount of travel from the Northern Health Region to obtain non-essential goods, so a lot of travel from northern communities into Winnipeg especially,” he said. “So we definitely do not want to see that interprovincial travel, certainly not for non-essential items.”

Stores will be limited to 25 per cent capacity, or 250 people, whichever is lower.

Other restrictions, including not allowing hair salons to reopen or social gatherings in households, remain in place.