The Chief Public Health Officer says the next little while will be challenging, but "we have to get through it together."

Emotions are high for Manitobans, but the doctor says there are ways to make the changes easier on themselves. Dr. Brent Roussin says this is not a "social isolation" and wants Manitobans to stay connected with their loved ones.

"We are going to step up again. We are going to see these numbers come down," Roussin says. "We are going to recover together as a province."

He says in the meantime, it is going to be challenging for Manitobans.

"I think what the message is, is that it is absolutely necessary."

Roussin says the strain on the healthcare system is evident, but by staying home, the numbers will decrease.

"We just definitely have to change what we do right now. And I know that is difficult and we know that because we are receiving much correspondence with petitions or requests to be listed as critical."

He says if all the requests were granted, there would be no change to public health orders and the virus will continue to spread. 

Roussin says Manitobans should not be afraid to ask their neighbours for help during this time. If care is needed such as babysitting or bringing groceries, Roussin does not want people to be afraid to ask for help.

If people are gathering for social reasons in groups larger than allowed in the public health orders, Roussin says enforcement will occur.

The doctor says he knows how difficult t is to want to follow the new orders.

"It is recognized that these restrictions are quite challenging, and I think that there are people who rightfully so voice their disappointment or the challenges that they are seeing."

He says the vast majority of Manitobans have embraced the orders but notes that it does not take much for the virus to spread. 

"I think there is a lot of wishful thinking that if we just ignore the virus, that this is 'just the flu' that we will be ok and I can understand why people start thinking that way after nine months of this."

He says that Manitoba had to tighten restrictions in the short term to stop the spread.

"We are going to go back to it. These (orders) are quite restrictive so we have a lot of people out of work right now but it is necessary." 

Despite there being no public health orders restricting gathering sizes in the spring, Roussin says Manitobans stepped up by staying home. He says Manitoba can do this again to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"We will get through this but we have to get through it together."