Two more deaths brings Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll to 69

Manitoba public health officials confirm two additional deaths due to COVID-19 are being reported this weekend.

They are both from the Winnipeg region. The first is a man in his 60s and the second is a man in his 80s.

Read more: Manitoba sees 349 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths on Halloween

This brings the total number of deaths due to the coronavirus in the province to 69.

The data also show there are 107 people in hospital, 20 of whom are in intensive care.

More information will be released at 12:30 p.m.

Starting Monday, Winnipeg will move to critical level (red) on the Pandemic Response System.

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Winnipeg under code red

In Winnipeg, the move means bars and restaurants will close except for take-out and delivery and most retail stores will be limited to 25 per cent capacity. Sports and recreation programming will be suspended and gyms and fitness centres will have to cut capacity to 25 per cent.

Masks will now be mandatory — even when exercising — at Winnipeg gyms and fitness centres.

Movie theatres and concert halls will be closed, while faith-based gatherings are reduced to 15 per cent, or 100 people, whichever is lower.

What the province calls “personal services” will see no changes and stay at 50 per cent capacity.

Non-urgent and elective surgeries and diagnostics will be suspended, but chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said some essential and time-sensitive surgeries — including cancer, cardiac and trauma —  will go ahead. He said patients will be contacted directly.

Hospital visits have also been suspended, with some exceptions possible for patients receiving end-of-life care, in labour and delivery, as well as in pediatrics.

Level orange restrictions

Starting Monday the Southern Health, Prairie Mountain Health, and Interlake-Eastern health region will move to the restricted, or orange, level on the pandemic response system, joining the Northern Health region, which has had the order in place for the last couple of weeks.

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The restrictions will see public and private group gathering sizes limited to five people, in addition to those already in a household.

Restaurants and bars will have capacity capped at 50 per cent and group sizes will be limited to five. Retail will also be cut to 50 per cent and the province is encouraging limiting the number of people who go shopping from each household.

Personal services will have no change and stay at 50 per cent capacity, while sports and recreation facilities will be limited to 25 per cent capacity.

Gyms and fitness centres will require contact information for all attendees and masks will be required at all times, except when exercising.

Faith-based gatherings will be cut to 20 per cent or 250 people, whichever is lower.

There will also be blended learning for Grades 9 to 12, and voluntary blended learning temporarily available for Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The restrictions in Winnipeg and across the province are to be in place for at least two weeks and will be reassessed at that time, Roussin said.

With files from Shane Gibson

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