The City of Winnipeg’s new two-week period of lockdown starts on Monday. The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region was designated to be at a critical level, and bars, restaurants, and recreation centers will be closed.
The new public health orders were issued by the Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer on Nov. 1. The critical level (red) restrictions under the provincial Pandemic Response System mandate the suspension of non-urgent and elective surgeries and diagnostics and the closure of bars, restaurants, and movie theaters. Cultural and religious gatherings are limited to 100 people or 15 percent site capacity, whichever is lower.
No additional changes were made for schools.
“When we were abiding by the fundamentals we were beating COVID, then some of us lost our way and now COVID is beating us, and we need to get back to the fundamentals in order to flatten the COVID-curve,” said Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister during a news conference on Nov. 2.
Pallister said it is necessary for Manitobans to be “dropping their personal contact numbers,” and he will make announcements to step up enforcements later in the week.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, defended the decision to impose lockdowns in an earlier statement.
“We have stayed calm, we have relied on logic, we relied on evidence to guide us through. We have done this before,” Roussin said.
Winnipeg added 122 new cases of people who tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus in its latest update on Nov. 2. The city has a total of 4,000 cases, accounting for more than half of Manitoba’s total 6,275 cases.
Some other provinces across Canada have also hiked up restrictions to contain the spread of the CCP virus, while Alberta has refused to impose a lockdown.
Ontario is under a partial lockdown. The province announced Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa would enter a 28-day modified Stage 2 on Oct. 9.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault also announced on Oct. 26 that the province’s red zone restrictions would be extended a further four weeks, which are set to expire on Nov. 23.
Alberta, on the other hand, has rejected further lockdowns and even relaxed testing and self-isolation measures for children under 18.
“Starting today, Alberta children with only a sore throat or runny nose no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days or get tested,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Twitter. “The medical evidence and data has shown these symptoms are not an effective way of identifying if a child has COVID-19.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said in an Oct. 30 public statement that these changes bring the province in line with British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, which have similar measures.