But for many, one thing is certain: As Manitoba once again becomes the COVID-19 hotspot among Canadian provinces, something must be done. The middle province obtained the title on Friday, as it records an average of seven days of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants increased to 84 per week – or 12 cases per 100,000 people per day. The province had previously become Canada’s COVID-19 hotspot during the third wave in May.
The second highest provincial rate is currently in neighboring Saskatchewan, which as of Friday had a seven-day case rate of 79 per 100,000 people.
So far, however, Saskatchewan still has a higher 14-day case rate (172 per 100,000) than Manitoba (146).
While cases in Manitoba are growing fastest among those under 20, some say it makes sense that the new rules announced by the province on Friday target children over 11 who are not yet vaccinated.
As of December 6, anyone aged 12 to 17 will need to have proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine – or a negative rapid test result in the past 72 hours – to play indoor sports in Manitoba.
“I guess we’re not that surprised. There have been indications that there has been some spread through youth sports activities, ”said Janet McMahon, President and CEO of Sport Manitoba after Friday’s announcement.
McMahon said the province has indicated that the percentage of eligible children who are already vaccinated is quite high, so she is optimistic the mandate will not have a major impact on sports already underway.
She said Sport Manitoba oversees about 70 different organizations across the province, all of whom are eager to do what they can to ensure they can continue to operate safely.
Peter Woods, executive director of Hockey Manitoba, said that even though he assumes more than 80 percent of his organization’s members are already immune to COVID-19, the new rules will affect those who are still unsure of getting the jab.
He said Hockey Manitoba supports the new rules, but still expects to receive some setback from unvaccinated parents.
Currently, the Manitoba Public Health Order states that anyone 18 years of age or older must be vaccinated to enter an indoor sport or recreation facility.
Some parents, however, might argue that they should be given the opportunity to get tested instead of proving they are vaccinated, as their children will, Woods said.
Since these tests must be done at pharmacies, they can be difficult for people to access in some areas, Woods said.
“It could create problems and there could be fallout,” he said.
“Some kids will likely move away from sports. “
Meanwhile, the principal of Maples Collegiate in Winnipeg said he is happy the province has finally put in place a vaccination mandate so that it is not up to individual school divisions to introduce their own rules.
“I think it’s a smart decision to keep our kids safe and also to move forward to get back to the normalcy we’re all trying to achieve,” said Scott Shier.
Church rules in force
The new public health orders have also reduced the size of gatherings for religious events in the Southern Health area that do not require proof of vaccination from participants.
New rules in this part of Manitoba, which has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the province and the highest test positivity rates in the province, took effect at midnight on Saturday.
The mayor of Winkler said the new restrictions could be difficult for people who depend on religious services in the area. But he hopes to see the city’s churches in southern Manitoba – and the people – follow the rules.
“Personally, I think the churches also need to get up to speed and say, ‘Yes, we will comply’ and not bypass the system, because I think that only makes the problem worse,” Martin Harder said on Saturday. .
“I would appreciate a little grace for our community and just want to make sure that they realize that we are working together to try to reach the end of the game.”
Manitoba’s latest pandemic measures also include the cancellation of some surgeries starting next week to free up more space in the province’s overcrowded intensive care units.
An intensive care doctor says the new rules are welcome measures as the province sees an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients landing in intensive care – but they are probably not enough yet.
“The problem is that there is [less] The intensive care bed capacity now than it was when we had to increase dramatically during the third wave, ”said Dr. Eric Jacobsohn, attending physician at St-Boniface Hospital and Science Center of Winnipeg Health.
“Can we support another massive increase? It’s hard to imagine how.
He said the province needs to prepare for the worst and communicate this plan with healthcare staff better than it did during the third wave of the pandemic.
« [It] It appears again that what exactly the plans are and how to engage frontline healthcare workers is once again going to be ad hoc, one day at a time – which is confusing to say the least, ”said Jacobsohn.