Health officials to provide COVID-19 update as more restrictions loom

WINNIPEG — The province is set to hold a news conference Friday afternoon to provide the latest update on COVID-19 in Manitoba.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief provincial public health officer, and Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health, will be speaking at 12:30 p.m. from the Manitoba Legislature.

CTV News will be live streaming the event.

The announcement comes a day after the province announced 193 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. This is the highest single-day total in Manitoba since the pandemic started.

One death was also reported on Thursday, bringing the province’s total to 62.

Cameron Friesen, the province’s Health Minister, hinted on Thursday that more restrictions could be coming for Manitoba.

He said the government has been analyzing its next steps.

The Winnipeg region is under enhanced restrictions which results in lower gathering limits in public and capacity limits on restaurants and bars.

Despite the limits, Friesen said the COVID numbers continue to rise.

“That discussion of what to do next is underway right now,” Friesen told the media on Thursday.

If more restrictions do come in, the province could be downgraded to critical or red on the province’s pandemic response system.

This could lead to a number of options ranging from closing non-essential stores and forcing restaurants to only provide take out and delivery services to make students switch to remote learning.

On top of the comments from the Health Minister, St. Boniface Hospital also said all of its beds in its Intensive Care Medicine Surgery Unit are full.

With that, patients have been sent to the Intensive Care Cardiac Surgery unit but it can’t take any more patients because it is short-staffed due to an exposure to COVID-19.

– With files from the Canadian Press and CTV’s Danton Unger.

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