Skip to main content

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, speaks during a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building, in Winnipeg, on Aug. 27, 2020.

David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press

Tighter COVID-19 restrictions affecting many businesses in the greater Winnipeg region will be announced as early as Friday because some people are ignoring health guidelines and case numbers continue to rise, Manitoba’s chief public health officer says.

“We have multiple examples of people just not following the fundamentals and not following the rules as well,” Dr. Brent Roussin said Thursday.

“We just have multiple examples that we’ve lost track of the fundamentals.”

Story continues below advertisement

The province reported a record-high 173 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, most of them in the Winnipeg area. Manitoba’s per-capita number of active cases is higher than any other province except Quebec.

The percentage of people testing positive has also jumped sharply in recent days — to 4.9 per cent provincewide and 5.8 per cent in Winnipeg.

Roussin said people are going to family gatherings, bars, restaurants and work while having symptoms.

Using a chart, he pointed to the case of one symptomatic person in September who went to social gatherings. That person led to 243 contacts who had to self-isolate, 40 of which became infected, he said.

Winnipeg is already under tighter restrictions than other areas of the province due to numbers that spiked in late summer. Gatherings are capped at 10 people and mask use is mandatory in indoor public areas.

More recently, bars and other licensed establishments have had to stop serving liquor at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m.

On Thursday, the province imposed new restrictions on licensed personal care homes in the greater Winnipeg area that will require new admissions to be isolated for 14 days. Homes that are experiencing outbreaks will not be allowed to admit new residents unless they are already COVID-positive.

Story continues below advertisement

Roussin said he is preparing additional measures, which could be announced Friday and take effect early next week. While avoiding specifics, he hinted at widespread rules to limit close public interaction, likely in areas such as restaurants, bars and gyms.

“I would say expect widespread capacity limitations across multiple sectors.”

Community sports could also see limits on the number of participants and spectators, he added.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the 10-person gathering limit could be reduced.

“Perhaps tomorrow we will see some change in terms of the numbers of people that are being asked to gather,” Friesen said.

“If you were thinking about getting together with a bigger group, maybe it’s time to just focus on the few people who are in your bubble.”

Story continues below advertisement

Premier Brian Pallister urged people to follow guidelines and wash their hands, limit interactions with people outside their household and wear masks. He pointed to the summer, when case numbers were low.

“When some of us forgot about those fundamentals, we stopped doing really well.”

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies