Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, announced that as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, the province of Manitoba will move to the Critical level (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System to halt COVID-19 transmission and protect Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens.
“We are at a critical point in our fight against COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable Manitobans and ensure our health-care system is there for Manitobans, when they need it,” said Pallister. “This is a team effort, and we all have a role to play in protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our community. By taking these measures seriously, we are going to save lives.”
The new Critical (red) level restrictions will be in effect provincewide and include:
• Social contacts reduced to your household only. Social gatherings are not permitted. • Travel to and from northern Manitoba is restricted and non-essential travel is discouraged. • Retail businesses listed as critical services, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, can remain open at 25 per cent capacity. • Retail businesses not on the list are able to provide e-service, curbside pickup or delivery services. • All personal service businesses, including hair salons, barbers and sites offering manicures, pedicures and other esthetic services, must close. • Gyms and fitness centres must close. • Religious and cultural gatherings must close or be provided virtually only. • Restaurants must close to the public and may be open for delivery, drive-thru or takeout only. • All recreational activities, sports facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres and concert halls must close.
“We have taken steps in individual regions, but it’s time to take a more drastic approach to halt the rising case number and wide-spread community transmission of this deadly virus,” said Roussin. “I cannot stress enough to all Manitobans – now is the time to stay home and reduce your close contacts.”
In addition, no changes will be made to child-care services or to kindergarten to Grade 12 education delivery at this time. Roussin noted the province has not seen widespread transmission among children, students and staff.
There are a number of things Manitobans can do themselves to reduce the spread that go beyond the restrictions put in place, Roussin added.
• Reduce the number of shoppers from your household to the lowest possible number. Send only one person to shop. • Work from home if at all possible. • Reduce travel unless absolutely essential. • Remember all those you have come in contact with recently.
As these restrictions go into place and in all regions, Manitobans are reminded that compliance and enforcement issues can be reported by visiting and completing the reporting form at www.manitoba.ca/COVID19, or by calling 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862 (toll-free) and pressing option three on the call menu.
Fines for breaching or failing to comply with public health or emergency orders have recently been increased to $1,296 for individuals and $5,000 for corporations. Manitobans are still strongly encouraged to focus on these fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
• Stay home if you are sick or when any member of your family is sick. • Reduce your contacts to your household only and avoid closed-in or crowded spaces. • Wash/sanitize your hands, cover your cough and physically distance when you must be with people outside your household. • If you cannot physically distance, you should wear a mask to help reduce your risk. • Get a flu shot. Unless recommended by public health officials, only individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. Individuals with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present. Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials. Public health officials are advising Manitobans that if you are symptomatic, or if someone in your household is symptomatic, your entire household needs to self-isolate pending COVID-19 test results. The symptomatic individual needs to stay in their own room and, if possible, use their own bathroom and not use common areas. This does not apply to asymptomatic household members if they are an essential worker required to wear PPE while at work such as health-care workers or first responders.
For information on self-isolation, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/resources.html#collapse2. The online assessment tool can be found at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/ and COVID-19 symptoms can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/about.html#collapse4.
For up-to-date information on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, visit: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/index.html.