Manitoba is reimplementing restrictions ahead of the fourth wave of COVID-19 hitting the province.
In an announcement on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, Premier Brian Pallister and chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin said the province will once again be requiring mask use in all indoor public places as well as mandating all provincial employees who work with vulnerable populations to be fully immunized by October 31, or face having COVID-19 testing up to three times per week.
Designated provincial public service workers include direct health-care providers and workers such as doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, support service staff and direct care providers. Educational workers are also included such as teachers, school and educational support staff, practicum students, bus drivers and custodial staff. Other designated groups include child-care workers, public servants and funded-agency employees who work in in high-risk settings with direct, ongoing contact with the public or clients and Manitoba Justice employees who work with vulnerable people and in correctional facilities.
Designated workers will be required to provide proof of vaccination or face ongoing testing and provide proof of a negative test result before they can resume working.
“These steps are necessary to protect children in Manitoba, avoid another lockdown, and keep our health-care system safe from a fourth wave of COVID-19 and the dangerous delta variant,” said Pallister.
Without getting into specifics the premier said that an expanded list of activities and services that can only be accessed if an individual is fully immunized will be coming in the near future.
Dr. Brent Roussin said that the change in restrictions are necessary to guard against the delta variant and the fourth wave of COVID-19 and avoid lockdowns and additional restrictions.
“By requiring people working with vulnerable populations to get immunized, wear masks and expand the use of vaccine passports, we can protect those most at risk of COVID-19 and avoid lockdown measures that affect everybody,” said Roussin. “This is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated and we have to make sure that this does not lead to health effects on others and our health-care system.”
The province is also recommending that private businesses and organizations consider mandating COVID-19 vaccination for their employees to protect customers and staff and reduce the chance of an outbreak at their workplaces.
© News4.ca 2021