Manitoba COVID-19 count rises again, Health Minister hints at more restrictions

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WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s health minister says more restrictions are possible as the number of COVID-19 continues to rise, particularly in the greater Winnipeg area. Cameron Friesen expressed concern at the latest figures which show the number of cases continues to rise two weeks after the Winnipeg area was subjected to tougher rules that include a 10-person cap for public gatherings.

Friesen said there were other restrictions that could be imposed as part of the province’s color-coded pandemic response system, which places Winnipeg in the Orange category – or Restricted – while the rest of the province belongs to the Yellow group – or warning -.

“Whether that means additional closures or additional use of masks, or if it is other additional measures, those things will be considered,” Friesen said Wednesday.

“And if it’s the public health advice that is the time to implement them now, then we know the provincial chief public health officer will advise. ”

Health officials reported 146 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, mostly in Winnipeg, and two more deaths.

Per capita, Manitoba has the second highest number of active cases in the country behind Quebec, according to data on the Health Canada website.

In an attempt to stem the tide, the province imposed another round of restrictions in the greater Winnipeg area last week. Licensed bars, pubs and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. Alcohol service must stop an hour earlier.

Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said a full lockdown should be an option under consideration, provided the government is prepared to help people who are made unemployed by the move.

“A lockdown has to be on the table,” Lamont said.

“But at the same time, if you tell people that you can’t work, if you tell people that you have to shut down your business, the government has a responsibility to make sure those people don’t leave. broke and this business is not going bankrupt. ”

Manitoba has recorded 2,925 cases of COVID-19 to date. Health officials said 37 people had died and 27 were in hospital on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 14, 2020.

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