Manitoba announced new COVID-19 restrictions amid rising cases, increased community transmission, and a growing strain on the health-care system.
Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon and Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, announced the new restrictions earlier today.
Religious gatherings are limited to 25 people under the new restrictions, unless the facility can physically divide the space into separate areas, in which case several cohorts of up to 25 can attend the same service.
However, the total number of attendees at a service may not exceed 25 per cent of facility capacity, to a maximum of 250 people. Cohorts must not mingle, masks must be worn and physical distancing rules apply.
The restrictions apply to the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region only and will go into effect Saturday, Nov. 13 at 12:01 a.m.
Furthermore, the officials said services restricted to fully immunized people and those under 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine may occur without capacity limits.
The municipalities of Cartier, Headingley, Macdonald, Ritchot (Niverville-Ritchot), St. François Xavier and Taché that are geographically located in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region, are exempt and considered to be part of the Winnipeg Capital Region.
Provincewide, proof of at least one dose of vaccination, or a recent (within 72 hours) negative test result will be required for 12 to 17 year olds for indoor recreational sports, the the officials said, adding that there will be a grace period until Dec. 5 to allow individuals who are not yet fully immunized to comply, with the order to be in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 6.
The officials also added that negative tests need to come from a participating pharmacy as provincial testing sites should only be accessed by symptomatic individuals, or those who are required to take a PCR test by public health.
Meanwhile, the officials, said orders continue to allow fully vaccinated Manitobans to enjoy as much freedom and as few restrictions as possible, while unvaccinated individuals continue to be restricted in their activities in order to reduce transmission and the most serious outcomes.