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Mar 26

UPDATES – PROVINCE OF MANITOBA

Dr. Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, and Minister Friesen, Health, Seniors and Active Living, acknowledged that heightened anxiety may be resulting from Manitoba’s increasing case numbers, while reminding us of the continuing importance of the fundamentals: hand hygiene, physical distancing, mask-wearing when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and staying home when sick.

“To alleviate some of the stress that Manitobans may be feeling, we all know what we can do. Even if we haven’t been practicing the fundamentals, we can all make changes today and start practicing the fundamentals today. Stay home, even if you’re mildly ill. This is paramount, and this is a huge change, we realize that,” said Dr. Roussin. “Avoid crowded places, avoid indoor public spaces, or if you have to attend somewhere that you think you may not be able to physical distance, wear a non-medical mask. This is an additional measure to limit the transmission of this virus — it is not a replacement for the fundamentals.”

  • To Manitoba employers: “We remind you that we really are all in this together. We need you to support workers as they should not be attending work when sick, even with mild symptoms. We also request that employers not insist on asymptomatic testing for workers, as we need to keep our testing capacity up, and we know that there is limited value in asymptomatic testing. If anyone in a workplace has been directly exposed to a known case of COVID-19, those workers should be self-isolating anyway, and Public Health would be providing instructions.”
  • “I want to address the issue of stigma. There is no place for stigma or shame in our pandemic plan. We need people to feel safe to be tested and forthcoming with Public Health. Stigma impairs our ability to fight in this pandemic.”
  • Schools: Members of the media asked many questions related to school safety, as well as about cohorts, intramural after-school activities, what will happen should a case be identified in a school, updates to ventilation systems, and the potential for mandatory mask use in schools. According to Dr. Roussin: “In any step of our re-opening, we rely on the confidence of Manitobans. With schools, we have not mandated mask use but we have ‘strongly recommended’ it. If we feel that we are not getting the compliance we need, we can always mandate it.” Dr. Roussin also stated that if a case was identified in a school, they would inform Manitobans quickly.

NEW! 1) Today, Minister Friesen announced contracts have been awarded to five facilities totalling $2.5 million to address the surgery backlog caused by COVID-19. In early September, patients will begin receiving care in the following areas: echocardiogram exams, urology procedures, orthopaedic spine procedures, and foot and hand surgeries.

3) The Province has extended the Manitoba Gap Protection deadline for applications to Oct. 31 from Aug. 31. Businesses that are ineligible for federal support can apply for an immediate $6,000 under this program, which has provided more than $51 million in support to 8,500+ Manitoba businesses to restart operations.