Manitoba extends state of emergency
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has extended the state of emergency in the province.
Pallister made the announcement on Monday afternoon, saying the state of emergency will be in place for another 30 days, ending May 18.
The province first declared a state of emergency one month ago on March 20.
"This is not the time to take the foot off the brake," Pallister said, noting the smaller cases of COVID-19 Manitoba have seen in recent weeks does not mean the risk of COVID-19 has lowered.
"Not every generation has the opportunity to save a life, but you do – keep doing that."
The province said extending the state of emergency will ensure measures can stay in place to protect the health of people across the province.
This extended state of emergency builds on the previously announced public health orders.
"I think the numbers we are currently seeing are a reflection of Manitobans hard work and dedication to protecting themselves, the people around them and our entire community," said Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer.
"We should be cautiously optimistic, but we cannot now loosen up our efforts."
TESTING EXPANDS IN MANITOBA
Roussin announced that testing has expanded. Pallister said the goal of the expanded testing is to be able to perform up to 2,000 tests a day if needed.
"All symptomatic workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services are now eligible to be tested," Roussin said.
"This includes people working transportations, manufacturing, at grocery stores, or other essential businesses."
Testing is focused on symptomatic people from the following categories:
- travellers returning to Manitoba;
- close contact with a confirmed case;
- lab workers who have worked with COVID-19 tests;
- health-care workers;
- people who live/work in the north, isolated or group settings, correctional facilities, shelters, long-term care or residential facilities or remote work camps;
- first responders;
- workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services; and
- any symptomatic person who lives with a health-care worker, first responder or worker in a congregate setting such as a correctional facility, shelter, long-term care or residential facility.
Roussin encouraged anyone with respiratory symptoms who meets the testing criteria to call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 and get tested.