Province clarifies businesses that can remain open during pandemic
The latest data from Provincial Health, indicated a 19th case of COVID-19 in the Interlake-Eastern Health Region (IEHR).
This case comes on the heels of a stretch of five days where no new cases were reported in the region.
Public health officials advise four new cases of COVID-19 were identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 250.
The data also shows:
- eight individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes four individuals in intensive care;
- 124 active cases and 121 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
- the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at five.
Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 449 tests Wednesday. A total of 18,349 tests have been performed since early February.
The chief provincial public health officer has updated public health orders that take effect on April 17, and will be in effect until May 1, 2020. They mandate that anyone entering Manitoba, regardless of whether it was from another country or another province must self-isolate for 14 days. In addition, travel to northern Manitoba (north of the 53rd parallel of latitude) is prohibited with some exceptions including:
- residents of northern and remote communities may continue to move within the north;
- delivery of goods and services may continue; and
- exceptions include those who travel to the north for employment, medical treatment or to facilitate child-custody agreements.
The new orders build on the current orders, and maintain the gathering size of no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor premises. Additional updates include:
- a clarification that businesses not listed as critical may operate, and have customers attend to pick up ordered items, providing social distancing measures are in place;
- a provision to allow farmers markets to operate, providing social distancing measures are in place;
- hotels may operate, but must close common areas such as pools, hot tubs and game rooms;
- campgrounds can provide accommodation to recreational vehicles that act as a primary residence;
- garden centres and greenhouses can operate, providing social distancing measures are in place; and
- appliance, electronic and furniture stores are excluded, and should not be open to the public, except where orders are placed remotely and orders are delivered or picked up with social distancing measures in place.
The following restrictions remain in place as they were with previous orders:
- All restaurants and other commercial facilities are prohibited from serving food to customers in their premises. This prevents eat-in dining at all facilities. However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout. If this takes place, the operator of the restaurant must ensure that all people maintain the appropriate social distancing from other customers when picking up food.
- All businesses that are not listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order must remain closed.
- This closure order does not prevent these businesses from operating on a remote basis.
- A business may accept orders on the internet or over the phone for delivery or pickup, as long as the employees are not working at the place of business.
- The order does not prevent employees or others from coming into the business to perform repairs, to provide security services or to take out items from the business premises if the business is going to operate on a remote basis.
- Nothing in the order restricts the operations of delivery of services by the federal or provincial governments or a municipality.
- Nothing in the order restricts any activities of a publicly funded agency, organization or authority that delivers or supports government operations or services including health-care services. This means the order does not affect institutions, agencies and other service providers offering health-care services such as hospitals, regional health authorities and private agencies that provide a range of health services.
In addition, public health officials are expanding testing criteria to include:
- all symptomatic workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services; and
- any symptomatic person who lives with a health-care worker, first responder or worker in a congregate setting such as a correctional facility, shelter, long-term care or residential facility.
Current testing parameters include people with symptoms who have travelled outside Manitoba in the past 14 days, close contacts of a confirmed case, health-care workers, all patients admitted to hospital with respiratory symptoms, lab workers who have worked with COVID-19 tests, first responders and individuals who live/work in the north, a remote or isolated community, or congregate setting.
Assessment clinics for COVID-19 patients offer primary care services on an appointment basis for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. In addition to the primary care space, these locations also serve as designated testing sites in a separate area at the site.
Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required. For up-to-date information on community screening sites, visit:
For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit: www.manitoba.ca/covid19.