Dr. Brent Roussin will be giving more guidance regarding the Fourth Wave of COVID-19.

In a Monday afternoon press conference, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer says Tuesday will bring an announcement, strongly hinting at new Public Health Orders. The doctor would not say what is to come but gave strong signals as to what is to come. 

The current orders expire on September 7.

Roussin says watching other jurisdictions, he says a fourth wave of the virus is coming.



Roussin says while masks are an additional measure, he does not think they should be the main focus, pointing to vaccines as the most important measure. He says masks are an additional layer that he supports.

"We have to focus on the overall picture. We can't focus so much on the mask issue," Roussin says, noting that things such as handwashing and staying home when sick are additional layers.

He says masks will be a topic discussed with upcoming health recommendations and restrictions for schools.



The majority of schools across the province have implemented their own mask mandates. Roussin says he will have more to say on this on Tuesday, hinting at the new orders. 

The Fourth Wave, Roussin says, will be a wave of the unvaccinated. Children younger than 12 cannot yet get the vaccine and in Manitoba, almost one quarter (24 per cent) of all COVID cases are in people 19-years-old and younger. 

There have been 6.2 thousand COVID-19 cases in children aged zero to nine, and 7.9 in youth aged 10 to 19.

Roussin says they have a low chance of having a severe outcome, but expects to see cases this fall, along with respiratory viruses.

The province is rolling out an in-school vaccination program in the fall. To date, 55.8 per cent of all youth aged 10-19 have received their first COVID-19 vaccine.

Many post-secondary schools have also implemented vaccine mandates, which Roussin says he supports.


Vaccine mandates

Federal employees in Canada must be immunized against COVID-19, and Doctors Manitoba is calling for all healthcare workers to be immunized.

“The move is being recommended now, even with the current lower level of transmission, because of the increasing risk of a fourth wave," Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba says in a statement. "This must be a requirement in health care, where it is all workers’ duty to protect the health of their patients. Physicians also recommend other employers strongly consider this policy to keep their staff and the public safe."

Roussin says more will come regarding healthcare workers this week, along with news on mandatory vaccines for provincial employees.

"There is going to be more to come on that this week, and so there is going to be some details, some important announcements. So stay tuned," Roussin says about provincial employees.

Roussin would not say if vaccines would be mandatory. 

Dr. Tim Hilderman says there are very rare situations where someone may not be able to get the vaccine.

"In terms of conditions that would prevent individuals from being immunized with the COVID vaccine. The reality of it is, there are virtually no absolute contraindications," Hilderman says.

Hilderman says allergists are finding ways to help those who have allergies to vaccine components. In total, there is a significantly small number of people who are not being recommended to get the shot.


Fourth Wave

The long-awaited Delta variant modelling is coming later this week, according to Roussin. Manitobans have been waiting all summer for these figures. Roussin could not say what to expect in the modelling, or what COVID-19 cases in youth will look like, other than saying there will be cases.