Provincial Respiratory Surveillance Report

COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenza

This report provides a current epidemiological update on the intensity and severity of COVID-19 in Manitoba. Surveillance and administrative data include laboratory, public health case and contact tracing investigations, hospitalization and mortality data. Data are presented at the provincial and regional level; and include a focussed review on the disproportional impact of COVID-19 on various populations in the province.

Epidemiology and Surveillance also continues to monitor the activity of seasonal influenza in Manitoba during this pandemic. During the 2020–2021 influenza season, routine reporting of seasonal influenza is included in this weekly report.

In this weekly respiratory surveillance report, we provide regular updates about the current activity of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza in Manitoba with overall objectives:

Data are reported with a one-week delay for increased data accuracy, completeness and reliability. More analyses continue to be conducted and will be added to this report as available. It is published online at approximately 10:00am every Monday.

Week 50 (December 6 – December 12)

About epidemiological week

Data extracted up to 4:00am on December 18, 2020
Next reporting date: December 28, 2020

COVID-19: High Activity

In Week 50, there were 2,166 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Manitoba, a decrease from 2,361 in the previous week. The volume of lab tests decreased to on average 2,376 people tested for COVID-19 per day compared to 2,544 in the previous week, and the positivity rate of lab tests was 13.1%, a decrease from 13.3% in the previous week.

In an examination of the 2,166 cases reported this week, majority (57%) were reported from Winnipeg Regional Health and 15% were reported from the Northern Health Region. The remaining cases were reported from Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (11%), Southern Health - Santé Sud Regional Health Authority (10%) and Prairie Mountain Health Authority (7%).

Overall, older adults and those with underlying illnesses are at higher risk for severe outcomes as a result of COVID-19 infection.


About cases

  • New cases: 2,166
  • Total cases: 21,047
  • Recovered cases: 16,213
More Analyses


About testing

This week

  • Average daily specimens: 2,376
  • Weekly positivity rate: 13.1%


  • Tested people: 290,592
  • Population tested: 21.3%
  • Positivity rate: 5.6%
More Analyses


About severity

Severe outcomes associated with COVID-19:

  • Hospitalizations: 1,372
    • ICU admissions: 268
  • Deaths: 536
More Analyses


About outbreaks

COVID-19 outbreaks: 135

  • Outbreaks in long-term care facilities: 73
  • Outbreaks in schools: 3
More Analyses


About exposure

Source of infection in cases (% of total)

  • Travel: 1.5%
  • Close contact to cases: 52.3%
  • Unknown: 24.1%
  • Pending: 22.1%

Close contacts to cases

  • Top contact type: Household exposure
More Analyses

Risk Factors

About risk factors

  • Pregnant cases: 199
  • Health care workers**: 1348
  • Recovered health care workers: 1141
More Analyses


About symptoms

Symptomatic cases: 74.8%

Top symptoms (% of reports)

  • Cough: 45.7%
  • Headache: 39.2%
  • Fever: 31.6%
  • Muscle pain (myalgia): 30.0%
  • Sore Throat: 27.9%
More Analyses

Seasonal Influenza: Low Activity

A large number of respiratory specimens have been tested for seasonal influenza since September 1, 2020. There was one laboratory-confirmed influenza B case reported in Manitoba in Week 50.

As of December 11, 27.9% of residents in Manitoba have been immunized with seasonal influenza vaccines.

Influenza Cases

About cases

New cases this week

  • Influenza A: 0
  • Influenza B: 1

Total cases from September 1, 2020

  • Influenza A: 0
  • Influenza B: 1

Syndromic Indicators: Low Activity

The respiratory activity levels in the community, primary care and emergency rooms continued to be low for this time of a year. The number of respiratory outbreaks reported that were not due to COVID-19 remains low.


About FluWatchers

Participants reporting: 608

Reporting fever and cough: 0%

Check Trend

Physician Visits

About sentinal physicians

Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Visits to sentinel physicians: 1.0%

Check Trend


About Antiviral

Units of antiviral dispensed from pharmacies: 5

ED Visits

About emergency room visits

Average daily respiratory visits to emergency department (ED): 85

Check Trend

Important Notes

  1. Data about COVID-19 cases and contacts aswell as influenza cases are extracted from PHIMS.
  2. Numbers are subject to change. Missed events in the current report due to reporting delays will be included in later reports when data become available.
  3. *ICU admissions were also included in hospitalizations.
  4. **Health care workers include personnels in hospitals, long-term care settings, community health clinics and services (including agency staff), and diagnostic/laboratory services.


Figure 1. Cases of COVID-19 by Week of Public Health Report Date, Manitoba, 2020

Note. Deaths due to COVID-19 were aligned by week of death date.

Figure 2. Cases of COVID-19 by Sex and Age Group, Manitoba, 2020

Figure 3. Cases of COVID-19 by Health Region and Public Health Report Date, Manitoba, 2020


Table 1. Cases of COVID-19 by Health Region, Manitoba, 2020

Health Region Cases Percentage
Winnipeg RHA 12981 61.7%
Southern Health-Santé Sud 3806 18.1%
Interlake-Eastern RHA 1472 7.0%
Prairie Mountain Health 1293 6.1%
Northern Health Region 1495 7.1%



Figure 4. Average Daily Testing Volume and Positivity (%) for COVID-19 by Week of Specimen Receiving Date, Manitoba, 2020


Table 2. Cumulative National Testing Volume and Positivity (%) for COVID-19 by Province/Territory, Canada, 2020

Province Confirmed Cases Tests Completed Tested Population (Estimated %) Positivity Rate (Estimated %)
Alberta 76,792 1,547,298 35.6% 5.0%
British Columbia 40,797 859,644 17.0% 4.7%
Manitoba 20,392 374,122 27.4% 5.5%
New Brunswick 554 108,002 14.0% 0.5%
Newfoundland and Labrador 355 66,148 12.7% 0.5%
Northwest Territories 20 7,031 15.7% 0.3%
Nova Scotia 1,402 159,124 16.5% 0.9%
Nunavut 245 4,804 12.4% 5.1%
Ontario 136,631 6,615,551 45.7% 2.1%
Prince Edward Island 84 68,878 44.3% 0.1%
Quebec 160,023 2,303,830 27.3% 6.9%
Saskatchewan 11,475 279,079 23.8% 4.1%
Yukon 58 5,723 14.1% 1.0%
Canada 448,841 12,399,310 33.1% 3.6%

Note. National testing data are collected daily from the national Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Outbreak update webpage.



Figure 5. Severe Outcomes of COVID-19 by Week of Public Health Report Date, Manitoba, 2020

Note. ICU admissions are not included in the hospital admissions.

Figure 6. Age Distribution of Severe COVID-19 Cases Compared to All Cases, Manitoba, 2020

Figure 7. Percentage of COVID-19 Cases With Underlying Illnesses, Manitoba, 2020

Note. Musculoskeletal illnesses include: osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, gout and crystal Arthropathies; COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CVD-cardiovascular disease; Other CVDs include: ischemic heart disease, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and stroke; Other chronic conditions include: parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. About definitions of chronic conditions


Risk Factors

Table 3. Source of Infection in Health Care Workers with Non-missing Information, Manitoba, 2020

Source of infection Cases Percentage
Close contact of known case 789 58.5%
Pending 163 12.1%
Travel 13 1%
Unknown 383 28.4%
All Cases 1348

Table 4. Roles of Health Care Workers with Non-missing Information, Manitoba, 2020

Role Cases
Allied Health and Support Staff 769
Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse 394
Not identified 106
Physician/Physician in training 52
First Responder 27



Figure 8. Weekly Respiratory and COVID-19 Outbreaks, Manitoba, 2017 – 2020



Table 5. COVID-19 Contact Summary Table, Manitoba, 2020

Regional Health Authority Active Cases Median Contacts Min contacts Max contacts
Winnipeg Health 3037 2 0 79
Northern Health 567 0 0 14
Interlake-Eastern Health 308 0 0 27
Southern Health - Sante Sud 201 1 0 45
Prairie Mountain Health 185 0 0 69



Figure 9. Percentage of Symptoms Reported by COVID-19 Cases, Manitoba, 2020

Note: Other symptoms include those less common symptoms such as sweating, runny eyes, itchy throat, etc.



Figure 10. Weekly FluWatchers Participants and Percentage Reporting Fever and Cough, Manitoba, 2020


Physician Visits

Figure 11. Weekly Percentage of ILI Related Visits to Sentinel Physicians, Manitoba, 2017 – 2020


ED Visits

Figure 12. Weekly Respiratory Visits to Emergency Department, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Manitoba, 2017 – 2020


Epidemiology and Surveillance

Other Epidemiology and Surveillance reports