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Manitoba Strengthens Public Health Orders in Face of Rising COVID Cases

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Dr. Brent Roussin announces strengthened public health orders on May 7. Province of Manitoba

Starting on Sunday, May 9, Manitobans will be subject to strengthened public health orders. He calls it a short-term solution with the rate of vaccination picking up speed.

The strict new rules will force the closure of restaurants, bars, patios, gyms, fitness centres, museums, and day camps as well as restrict retail capacity.

“Despite having some of the strictest public health restrictions and enforcement measures in the country, Manitoba’s COVID case numbers continue to rise, and this is concerning for all of us,” says Premier Brian Pallister. “All Manitobans must continue to do their part to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community. We recognize the next few weeks will be challenging, but these additional measures are necessary to halt the spread of this deadly virus and protect Manitobans and our health care system.”

The following additional public health order restrictions will be in effect on Sunday, for a period of three weeks:

• outdoor gatherings that include people from multiple households are limited to a maximum of five people.
• restaurants, bars, and patios will close to in-person dining but can still provide takeout and delivery services.
• gyms and fitness centres will close.
• casinos remain closed and VLTs will close.
• museums, galleries, and libraries will close.
• indoor community, cultural, and religious gatherings are prohibited.
• personal services such as estheticians, barbers, salons, and tanning salons will close.
• indoor sports and recreation, including after-school activities, will close.
• outdoor sports and recreation activities will have a maximum of five participants and organized team games will not be permitted.
• dance, theatre, and music schools will close.
• day camps will close.
• retail stores, markets, and garden centres will be able to open at ten percent capacity, to a maximum of 100 people, and malls will be open to a maximum of ten percent of the facility’s capacity.
• self-help gatherings will have a maximum of ten participants.

“Right now case numbers are far too high and the strain on our health system is rapidly increasing,” says Dr. Brent Roussin. “I urge all Manitobans to do everything they can to reduce transmission of the virus - follow the orders, stay home as much as possible, reduce the number of contacts you have and wear masks when you are around others from outside your household.”

Dr. Roussin also notes that this is a temporary, short-term solution and that we can still look forward to a summer with high vaccine uptake and low COVID cases.

“In May, the Vaccine Implementation Task Force expects to provide more than 300,000 doses of vaccine to Manitobans,” says Dr. Roussin. “Make an appointment as soon as you can, because the eligibility will continue to expand in the coming weeks to help protect more people as soon as possible.”

Changes to the orders will be in effect until Sunday, May 30.

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