New code red COVID-19 restrictions coming to Southern Health region

WINNIPEG — New code red COVID-19 restrictions coming to Southern Health region

Manitoba’s top doctor has moved the Southern Health region to the red or critical level on the province’s pandemic response system.

Dr. Brent Roussin announced the news on Friday, saying the region will be placed under increased restrictions beginning on Monday, Nov. 9.

The region has reported 1,083 cases of COVID-19 since March, with 52 new cases identified in the region as of Friday.

“As we can see, our cases have gone in the wrong direction,” Roussin said. “We are seeing more cases, more strain on the health care system, and so further action is required.”

Roussin said these new restrictions will include:

  • All restaurants and bars will be closed with take-out, drive-thru, and delivery options only;
  • Cultural and religious gatherings will be limited to 15 per cent capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower;
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain at 50 per cent capacity;
  • Most retail businesses will be reduced to 25 per cent capacity or five people, whichever is higher. These limits do not include employees;
  • Movie theatres and concert halls will close;
  • Personal services have no change and stay at 50 per cent capacity;
  • All recreational facilities along with all indoor and outdoor sports facilities will be closed;
  • Gyms and fitness centres will be limited to 25 per cent capacity, with masks mandatory even while exercising;
  • VLTs and other gaming establishments will be closed;
  • Non-urgent and elective surgeries and diagnostics will be suspended. Scheduled surgeries in several essential and time-sensitive areas will continue to be performed including cancer, cardiac, and trauma. Patients will be contacted directly if their scheduled surgeries are affected;
  • In-patient visitation to hospitals or health centres will be suspended, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis for patients receiving end-of-life care, in labour and delivery, as well as in pediatrics; and
  • Designated family caregivers may continue to visit personal care homes. General visitation may be suspended with exceptions in place for end-of-life care. General visitation to outdoor visitation shelters will be implemented, once operational.

“It is the intent that these new orders will halt the spread of the virus, decrease the transmission of the virus in the community,” Roussin said.

He said public health recommends households limit the time spent outside the home and, if possible, only send one person out for essential errands.

Roussin asked businesses in the area to have staff work from home whenever possible.

He said, just like in the Winnipeg Metro Region, anyone in the Southern Health region who is symptomatic or has a symptomatic household member, the entire household must self-isolate pending the results of a COVID-19 test.

That symptomatic person must stay in their own room, use their own bathroom, and avoid common areas within the home if possible.

The province said there are exceptions for asymptomatic household members if they are essential workers required to wear PPE while at work, such as health-care workers or first responders.

A full list of these restrictions can be found here: 

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