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 53 (December 27 – January 2)

About epidemiological week

Data extracted up to 4:00am on January 8, 2021
Next reporting date: January 18, 2021

COVID-19: High Activity

In Week 53, there were 978 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Manitoba, a decrease from 1,285 in the previous week. The volume of lab tests decreased to on average 1,373 people tested for COVID-19 per day compared to 1,675 in the previous week, and the positivity rate of lab tests was 10.5%, a decrease from 11.6% in the previous week.

In an examination of the 978 cases reported this week, majority (62%) were reported from Winnipeg Regional Health and 14% were reported from the Southern Health - Santé Sud Regional Health Authority. The remaining cases were reported from Northern Health Region (13%), Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (6%) and Prairie Mountain Health Authority (5%).

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: 978
  • Total cases: 25,133
  • Recovered cases: 20,603
More Analyses


About testing

This week

  • Average daily specimens: 1,373
  • Weekly positivity rate: 10.5%


  • Tested people: 321,988
  • Population tested: 23.6%
  • Specimens tested: 435,372
  • Positivity rate: 6.3%
More Analyses


About severity

Severe outcomes associated with COVID-19:

  • Hospitalizations: 1,755
    • ICU admissions: 336
  • Deaths: 718
More Analyses


About outbreaks

COVID-19 outbreaks: 161

  • Outbreaks in long-term care facilities: 86
  • Outbreaks in schools: 3
More Analyses


About exposure

Source of infection in cases (% of total)

  • Travel: 1.3%
  • Close contact to cases: 52.0%
  • Unknown: 23.9%
  • Pending: 22.8%

Close contacts to cases

  • Top contact type: Household exposure
More Analyses

Risk Factors

About risk factors

  • Pregnant cases: 252
  • Health care workers**: 1666
  • Deceased Health care workers: 2
  • Recovered health care workers: 1544
More Analyses


About symptoms

Symptomatic cases: 73%

Top symptoms (% of reports)

  • Cough: 45.2%
  • Headache: 38.3%
  • Fever: 31.0%
  • Muscle pain (myalgia): 29.4%
  • Sore Throat: 27.3%
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 53.

As of January 1, 29.2% 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: 601

Reporting fever and cough: 0%

Check Trend

Physician Visits

About sentinal physicians

Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Visits to sentinel physicians: 4.4%

Check Trend


About Antiviral

Units of antiviral dispensed from pharmacies: 3

ED Visits

About emergency room visits

Average daily respiratory visits to emergency department (ED): 87

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 15177 60.4%
Southern Health-Santé Sud 4350 17.3%
Interlake-Eastern RHA 1864 7.4%
Prairie Mountain Health 1572 6.3%
Northern Health Region 2170 8.6%



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 103,015 1,547,298 35.6% 6.7%
British Columbia 52,555 954,399 18.9% 5.5%
Manitoba 24,700 409,113 30.0% 6.0%
New Brunswick 601 115,049 14.9% 0.5%
Newfoundland and Labrador 390 72,243 13.8% 0.5%
Northwest Territories 24 7,859 17.5% 0.3%
Nova Scotia 1,497 177,283 18.3% 0.8%
Nunavut 266 5,562 14.4% 4.8%
Ontario 184,635 7,601,237 52.5% 2.4%
Prince Edward Island 96 79,298 50.9% 0.1%
Quebec 205,449 2,498,341 29.6% 8.2%
Saskatchewan 15,635 301,436 25.7% 5.2%
Yukon 64 5,921 14.6% 1.1%
Canada 588,940 13,775,115 36.8% 4.3%

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 983 59%
Pending 179 10.7%
Travel 13 0.8%
Unknown 491 29.5%
All Cases 1666

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

Role Cases Percentage
Allied Health and Support Staff 954 57.3%
Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse 485 29.1%
Not identified 128 7.7%
Physician/Physician in training 66 4%
First Responder 33 2%
All Cases 1666



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 2238 1 0 79
Northern Health 891 0 0 14
Interlake-Eastern Health 356 0 0 21
Southern Health - Sante Sud 217 0 0 27
Prairie Mountain Health 110 0 0 10



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