Manitoba to shut down non-critical services April 1 to slow spread of COVID-19

All non-critical services must close April 1-14 in Manitoba to limit the spread of COVID-19, chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced Monday.

“This announcement is not the easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do,” Premier Brian Pallister said.

Any place that serves food is prohibited to do so on the premises as of April 1.

Restaurants can deliver food or prepare takeout if the business ensures all people maintain physical distancing.

Bars, hair salons and massage therapy offices will close as well.

Grocery stores will remain open.

“These measures are yet another step to limit the transmission of this virus and to flatten that curve,” Roussin said.

Affected businesses can operate remotely, as long as employees are not working at the place of business.

Monday’s order does not prevent employees or others from going to a business to do repairs, provide security services, or take items out of the premises if the business is going to operate on a remote basis.

Delivery services for all levels of government are unaffected by the order.

Publicly funded agencies that provide or support government operations or services, including health care, are also unaffected.

The order does not affect the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba or the College of Midwives of Manitoba.

Health-care providers can continue to provide emergent or urgent care such as dental surgery as well.

Public transit, taxis and other private vehicles for hire can continue to operate, although the driver must ensure there is a reasonable separation of people in the vehicle.

There is no specific distance, because it would vary on the size of each vehicle.

There are dozens of other types of businesses that can stay open, from food providers such as grocery stores and bakeries, hardware stores and wholesale or retail businesses, gas stations, stores that provide essential goods and services for animals.

As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, 24 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Manitoba, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable cases to 96.

Investigations are underway to learn more about how the new cases were contracted.

Among the patients, four people are in hospital — one in intensive care — and two people who had the illness have recovered, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Sunday.

Last week, Manitoba suffered its first death related to COVID-19.


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