Hospitalizations of Manitobans who have contracted COVID-19 have surpassed 500 people.
An 18-person increase Friday brings the province to 517 COVID patients in hospital, and five more people have died.
Manitoba ICUs currently stand at 45 people with the virus, down two from Thursday, public health officials said.
The province also reported 1,215 new cases, however, that number is not accurate, due to changes in how the province is collecting COVID-19 case data. Most Manitobans who request a test will receive a rapid antigen test, and the results are not recorded. Those who test positive and meet specific criteria are then given a PCR test, which is recorded.
As of Friday, a total of 64,328 first doses have been given to children ages five to 11, or 51.4 per cent of that age group.
Provincial officials said Thursday afternoon that schools will no longer notify close contacts on individual cases, but will provide staff and student absenteeism reports through regular channels.
Public health will investigate and give recommendations if a school’s COVID-19 activity is seen to indicate transmission above expected community levels.
The province said recommendations — in cases where increased transmission is occurring — could include implementing a period of rapid antigen testing or other preventative measures, even goes as far as recommending a week of remote learning if needed.
“The Omicron variant isn’t going to go away and we need to learn to live with the virus. This means adjusting our mindset from trying to contain the virus to trying to mitigate our risk,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
-With files from Sam Thompson
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