Starting Monday, Winnipeggers will have more restrictions under Level Orange, as COVID numbers continue to rise.
Manitoba's Health Minister, Cameron Friesen, joined Dr. Brent Roussin for the announcement on Friday. The current test positivity rate has jumped to 6.3 per cent in Winnipeg.
Roussin says Winnipeggers need to make sacrifices for two weeks in order to reverse the trend. Roussin stressed multiple times that short term sacrifice would result in a quick turnaround.
"We know we can turn the tide quickly," Roussin says, pointing to success in the Prairie Mountain Health Region earlier this autumn.
There will be no new restrictions for churches or other faith-based organizations. They will continue to be limited to 30 per cent capacity limits, which includes activities such as youth groups.
Gathering sizes reduced from 10 to five people. That means that besides those in your household you can have five others over, and only groups of five may go out together.
- Beverage rooms (bars), casinos, and bingo halls will be closed.
- Restaurants and lounges will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
- Sports and recreation facilities will be limited to 25 per cent capacity.
- Museums and galleries reduce to 50 per cent.
Roussin says bars are closing because of what the province has seen when it comes to community transmission. He also said a large number of cases in the 20 - 29 age range.
"We really think, two weeks, everyone really step up here, we start seeing a real change in these numbers we can start looking at these restrictions and start loosening them as appropriate."
After being one of the best regions in the country for COVID numbers, Winnipeg has quickly become one of the worst. When asked what went wrong, Friesen says that perhaps Manitobans let their guard down after having a long stretch of no cases reported in the summer.
"We know that there is good news on the horizon," Friesen says. "We're starting to hear more coherent explanations of when a vaccine for COVID-19 may be available, we have seen in other jurisdictions stabilization of the numbers, so long answer made short to your question, we need people to redouble their willingness to do those right things, even now, even when it's tough and even when the landscape seems to be so long on which they've been asked to do these right things."