Manitoba health officials to hold COVID-19 update on Christmas Eve

The province is holding a press conference to update Manitobans on the COVID-19 situation on Christmas Eve.

Drs. Brent Roussin and Joss Reimer will be joined by Health Minister Audrey Gordon at 10 a.m. at the Legislative Building.

Global News will livestream the press conference in this story.

On Thursday, the Manitoba government said near record-setting COVID-19 case counts are likely an under-count due to a backlog in testing.

Officials announced 556 new infections Thursday, among the highest one-day jumps in cases ever reported in Manitoba, according to records kept by Global News.

But in a release later in the day, the province said it expects current case counts “are an under-reporting of the virus across the province” because of a  backlog of more than 7,500 test specimens.

“The province has reached its capacity to process COVID-19 specimens at facilities in Manitoba,” the release reads.

“The province is exploring options to expand laboratory capacity to help alleviate the backlog.”

Health officials did not hold a media briefing Thursday.

Global News and other media outlets have been reporting on long lines at Winnipeg drive-thru testing sites all week, with some people waiting hours to get a swab.

Winnipeg Police were called in to help control traffic around some testing sites Thursday, and police told Global News officers were called to reports of a dispute between two drivers at the King Edwards Street testing site Monday.

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