Decision on Manitoba’s Code Red restrictions expected to come soon

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Code Red restrictions are set to expire after Friday, Jan. 8, but health officials still have not confirmed if they will be left in place or revised.

The current public health measures, which have been in place for a number of weeks, closed down non-essential businesses, and limited Manitobans’ close contacts to their households only. These rules are set to expire tonight at midnight.

The province’s officials have remained mum on what the new set of health orders will look like for residents.

“I know not much has been said, and I wouldn’t interpret that in any way that the orders are being lifted,” said Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer. 

“There will be a new set of orders starting on Saturday for sure.”

Atwal did not speculate on what these new orders could include, but said health officials would be meeting today to discuss the changes. He added that once the new public health orders are confirmed, an announcement would be made to the public. 

On Wednesday, Premier Brian Pallister said he didn’t expect any “significant changes” to the rules. He said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, said it would be premature to ease restrictions before knowing the consequences of the holidays.

Manitoba health officials announced 208 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the province’s total since the start of the pandemic to 25,742 cases.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

– With files from CTV’s Danton Unger, Devon McKendrick, Charles Lefebvre and Jeff Keele.

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