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 51 (December 13 – December 19)

About epidemiological week

Data extracted up to 4:00am on December 25, 2020
Next reporting date: January 4, 2021

COVID-19: High Activity

In Week 51, there were 1,821 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Manitoba, a decrease from 2,166 in the previous week. The volume of lab tests decreased to on average 2,169 people tested for COVID-19 per day compared to 2,376 in the previous week, and the positivity rate of lab tests was 12.3%, a decrease from 13.1% in the previous week.

In an examination of the 1,821 cases reported this week, majority (51%) were reported from Winnipeg Regional Health and 18% were reported from the Northern Health Region. The remaining cases were reported from Southern Health - Santé Sud Regional Health Authority (13%), Prairie Mountain Health Authority (10%) and Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (8%).

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: 1,821
  • Total cases: 22,868
  • Recovered cases: 18,341
More Analyses


About testing

This week

  • Average daily specimens: 2,169
  • Weekly positivity rate: 12.3%


  • Tested people: 298,317
  • Population tested: 21.9%
  • Positivity rate: 5.9%
More Analyses


About severity

Severe outcomes associated with COVID-19:

  • Hospitalizations: 1,520
    • ICU admissions: 297
  • Deaths: 596
More Analyses


About outbreaks

COVID-19 outbreaks: 146

  • Outbreaks in long-term care facilities: 76
  • Outbreaks in schools: 3
More Analyses


About exposure

Source of infection in cases (% of total)

  • Travel: 1.4%
  • Close contact to cases: 51.7%
  • Unknown: 23.9%
  • Pending: 23.0%

Close contacts to cases

  • Top contact type: Household exposure
More Analyses

Risk Factors

About risk factors

  • Pregnant cases: 220
  • Health care workers**: 1485
  • Recovered health care workers: 1364
More Analyses


About symptoms

Symptomatic cases: 73.7%

Top symptoms (% of reports)

  • Cough: 45.5%
  • Headache: 38.9%
  • Fever: 31.3%
  • Muscle pain (myalgia): 29.8%
  • Sore Throat: 27.7%
More Analyses

Seasonal Influenza: Low Activity

A large number of respiratory specimens continued to be tested for seasonal influenza. There were no laboratory-confirmed influenza cases reported in Manitoba in Week 51.

As of December 18, 28.3% of residents in Manitoba have been immunized with seasonal influenza vaccines.

Influenza Cases

About cases

New cases this week

  • Influenza A: 0
  • Influenza B: 0

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: 590

Reporting fever and cough: 0.3%

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: 4

ED Visits

About emergency room visits

Average daily respiratory visits to emergency department (ED): 86

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 13915 60.8%
Southern Health-Santé Sud 4039 17.7%
Interlake-Eastern RHA 1617 7.1%
Prairie Mountain Health 1471 6.4%
Northern Health Region 1826 8.0%



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 87,581 1,547,298 35.6% 5.7%
British Columbia 45,400 899,338 17.8% 5.0%
Manitoba 22,397 389,259 28.5% 5.8%
New Brunswick 573 111,512 14.4% 0.5%
Newfoundland and Labrador 372 69,461 13.3% 0.5%
Northwest Territories 24 7,635 17.0% 0.3%
Nova Scotia 1,442 167,239 17.3% 0.9%
Nunavut 259 5,159 13.3% 5.0%
Ontario 151,257 6,998,331 48.3% 2.2%
Prince Edward Island 90 75,421 48.5% 0.1%
Quebec 172,801 2,382,661 28.2% 7.3%
Saskatchewan 13,077 289,625 24.7% 4.5%
Yukon 59 5,822 14.3% 1.0%
Canada 495,345 12,948,837 34.6% 3.8%

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 870 58.6%
Pending 175 11.8%
Travel 13 0.9%
Unknown 427 28.8%
All Cases 1485

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

Role Cases
Allied Health and Support Staff 853
Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse 426
Not identified 120
Physician/Physician in training 57
First Responder 29



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 2276 1 0 79
Northern Health 829 0 0 15
Interlake-Eastern Health 347 0 0 27
Southern Health - Sante Sud 242 0 0 22
Prairie Mountain Health 237 0 0 70



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