COVID-19: Police called in after disputes over mask use heat up in Winkler

A woman says a man tried to drive her off the road after she took photos of shoppers not wearing masks at a store in Winkler.

The altercation is one of two Winkler police say officers have been called to over the use of masks in the southern Manitoban community in recent weeks.

Read more: Winkler mayor says punitive approach to vaccine opponents isn’t working

The woman told police she was confronted by two men after she started taking photos of people not wearing masks inside a store Aug. 30.

She says one of the men followed her out of the store and then tried to push her off the roadway with his vehicle, forcing her on to the shoulder, as she drove away.

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Police say they are continuing to investigate.

Officers were called to another altercation at a store Sept. 4.

Police say a man who was upset to see another man and his family walk into the store without masks began swearing at the man and pushed his shopping cart into him.

Read more: COVID-deniers, vaccine-hesitant from Winkler a large share of ICU admissions: Doctor

Police say the unmasked man, who did not press charges, received a warning for not wearing a mask as required under current public health orders.

They say the masked man, who apologized for his behaviour, also received a warning.

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After lifting a mask mandate earlier this summer, Manitoba health officials reinstated the order in late August making masks mandatory in indoor, public spaces, including schools.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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