While Dr. Brent Roussin announced 543 new COVID-19 cases Monday, he also said he sees one potential positive outcome of Manitoba’s tight restrictions.
Winnipeg moved to critical red in early November, while the whole province moved to red November 12. The tightest restrictions have only been in effect since Friday and Saturday.
"There are some early indicators that are positive. We have fewer number of contacts per case, right now, which may be an early indicator that our restrictions are having their intended benefits," the chief public health officer stated.
The Prairie Mountain Health region saw 12 new cases announced today. The brunt of high numbers are in Winnipeg, at 368, and Southern Health–Santé Sud, at 118.
However, despite the new public health orders instituted late last week, Roussin said there were reports that a number of faith-based organizations were still holding in-person services over the weekend.
"It should be quite clear – these orders are not here to restrict your right to worship. These orders are here to save lives," Roussin said.
"When we have a test positivity of 14 per cent, we see in some areas 40 per cent, we can't have in-person gatherings. It puts Manitobans at risk. We're asking everyone to follow these restrictions. We really want these in place for as short a duration as possible."
He said such gathering put people and the entire community at risk, and they put healthcare workers at risk.
"We need everyone to follow these restrictions," he said.
When asked if he was aware of such gathering in Brandon or the wider Prairie Mountain Health region, Roussin said he would not, at this point, single out locations or regions.
However, enforcement officers are looking into the matter.
Read more in tomorrow’s Sun.