WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials are taking further steps to reduce COVID-19 transmission and ensure hospital admissions remain at manageable levels.
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, announced three new restrictions on Friday targeting the unvaccinated population.
Effective at midnight on Saturday, religious gatherings will be capped at 25 people in most of the Southern Health region, or separate cohorts of 25 people, unless all attendees are fully vaccinated.
The southern health region has the lowest vaccine uptake in the province and has been a major source of hospitalizations in recent weeks.
Youth aged 12-17 must also provide proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or a recent negative test to participate in recreational sports and overnight camps. The restriction is effective province-wide.
The municipalities of Cartier, Headingley, Macdonald, Ritchot (Niverville-Ritchot), St. François Xavier and Taché that are geographically located in the Southern Health region, are exempt and considered to be part of the Winnipeg Capital Region.
Dr. Roussin also showed modelling that says the demand for intensive care beds could soon reach a level similar to the height of the third wave last spring.
Roussin hinted the province may soon do more to restrict transmission in people’s homes.
“Certainly, we’re giving thought to that. We know that transmission occurs within homes,” Roussin said.
“That mostly represents people who actually live together in the home … but we know transmission occurs in prolonged contact in indoor public places.”
— With files from The Canadian Press