Rising Covid-19 Case Numbers Bring Added Restrictions

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Due to rising COVID-19 cases, increased community transmission and a growing strain on the health-care system, Manitoba is taking additional steps to help curb the spread of the virus in the fourth wave of the pandemic, Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon and Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, announced today.

“Once again, we must ask Manitobans to do more to reduce the current COVID-19 case numbers and community transmission which, in turn, will help reduce the strain on the health-care system,” said Gordon. “We need everyone to work together by following the public health orders, focusing on the fundamentals and getting vaccinated. We know vaccination works, and I encourage all Manitobans to do your part and get immunized against COVID-19.”

The additional restrictions include:

·       Religious gatherings are limited to 25 people unless the facility can physically divide the space into separate areas, in which case several cohorts of up to 25 can attend the same service. However, the total number of attendees at a service may not exceed 25 per cent of facility capacity, to a maximum of 250 people. Cohorts must not mingle, masks must be worn and physical distancing rules apply.

–       this applies to the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region only;

–       this new restriction goes into effect Saturday, Nov. 13 at 12:01 a.m.;

–       services restricted to fully immunized people and those under 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine may occur without capacity limits; and

–       the municipalities of Cartier, Headingley, Macdonald, Ritchot (Niverville-Ritchot), St. François Xavier and Taché that are geographically located in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region, are exempt and considered to be part of the Winnipeg Capital Region.

·       Provincewide, proof of at least one dose of vaccination, or a recent (within 72 hours) negative test result will be required for 12 to 17 year olds for indoor recreational sports:

–       there will be a grace period until Dec. 5 to allow individuals who are not yet fully immunized to comply, with the order to be in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 6; and

–       negative tests need to come from a participating pharmacy as provincial testing sites should only be accessed by symptomatic individuals, or those who are required to take a PCR test by public health.

The orders continue to allow fully vaccinated Manitobans to enjoy as much freedom and as few restrictions as possible, while unvaccinated individuals continue to be restricted in their activities in order to reduce transmission and the most serious outcomes.

“We take several pieces of information into consideration when we are making recommendations for public health orders,” said Roussin. “Current COVID-19 case numbers, test positivity rate, community spread, vaccination rates and modelling are all factors. We are seeing concerning numbers now and the projections indicate more is coming if we do not take steps to curb the situation.”

“Thank you to all of those Manitobans who are following the public health orders, focusing on the fundamentals and have been vaccinated. It is frustrating to be here again but by working together, we can help bring an end to this pandemic,” said Roussin.

The updated orders keep the Pandemic Response System at Restricted (Orange) with schools at Caution (Yellow).

All other public health orders remain unchanged.

For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19.

(Province of MB News Release)