Coronavirus: All of Manitoba moving into Level Red Thursday, tough new restrictions to be implemented

This story will be updated as the press conference begins and continues on.

The entire province of Manitoba will move into Level Red or critical on Thursday.

There will be no social gatherings allowed, said Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s Chief Public Health Officer.

“These next few weeks will be difficult for many,” he said.

More restrictions:

  • 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.

Schools and daycares will stay open, said Roussin, as officials are not seeing much transmission within schools.

It wasn’t immediately clear on how long the restrictions would be in place.

Premier Brian Pallister said the province is at a critical point in its fight against the virus.

“What we’ve seen in this second wave is many more contacts, we’ve lost track of those fundamentals,” said Roussin.

“Work from home if possible, reduce travel unless it’s absolutely essential, and most of all, limit your contacts to your household only.”

Read more: Revera apologizes after ‘less than accurate’ staffing data given at Maples PCH

Pallister announced new programs to help small businesses Tuesday.

The first, called the Manitoba Bridge Grant, will provide $5,000 to small businesses before Christmas, and perhaps another $5,000 after the new year.

On Monday, Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll continued to rise as the province reported three more deaths as well as 365 new cases of the virus, and health officials warned more public health restrictions may be coming soon.

Manitoba’s chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa said Monday a health care worker died from COVID-19 as a result of the one of the ongoing hospital outbreaks. She said in the past week alone 44 health care workers have tested positive for the virus.

The owner of Maples Personal Care Home apologized Monday evening after Manitoba health officials said the home significantly understaffed when city paramedics and multiple ambulances were called in to help deal with the critical COVID-19-related health concerns of several residents Friday night.

Paramedics were first called to the Revera-owned private facility at 500 Mandalay Dr. around 7 p.m. and stayed for nearly seven hours, assessing at least 12 patients.

Two who died that night were part of a 48-hour span that saw seven COVID-19 deaths at the personal care home.

-With files from Shane Gibson

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