In order to protect the health and safety of all Manitobans, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Manitoba government has declared a province-wide state of emergency.
“This decision was not made lightly," said Premier Brian Pallister in a news release. "However, we must continue to use every tool available to ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our communities and our health-care system,” said Pallister. “Our government is focused solely on the health and safety of all Manitobans. This move will enable us to react more quickly on a broad range of supportive measures to stop the spread for COVID-19 and ensure that essential services are available for all Manitobans during this global health pandemic.”
Additionally, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the Minister of Health Seniors and Active Living.
As authorized under The Public Health Act, the following measures will be in place, effective immediately, for a period of 30 days:
Limiting public gatherings of more than 50 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided. Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business. Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres from others assembling at the facility. Limiting hospitality premises where food or alcohol is served or any theatres offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms as movies theatres to 50 people or 50 per cent of the capacity of the premises, whichever is lesser. These establishments must be able to ensure social distance of one to two metres between customers. Immediate closures of all bingo and gaming events. All wellness centres offering physical activities, gyms, fitness centres and athletic clubs and training facilities
“With this declaration, the biggest roles for all Manitobans to play right now, is to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community”, said Dr. Roussin. “I cannot emphasize this enough – this is the time for action. We must change our day-to-day lives, and think about your role in protecting ourselves and all Manitobans.”
Premier Pallister added, “This is a time to support our friends, families and communities. The situation is constantly evolving and changing rapidly. Enacting a state of emergency will further our province’s ability to be nimble, act swiftly and support Manitobans when they need it most.”
Manitoba Government Announces Child Care Supports For Essential Workers
Additionally, the Province is investing $27.6 million to help provide child care to essential front-line workers as they continue to support the province’s COVID-19 response.
“This pandemic requires all Manitobans to change how they live their daily lives, but it is clear that we are all willing to work together to find solutions,” said Families Minister Heather Stefanson. “Our government is following through on our commitment to parents who must provide essential front-line health and other services and who need help securing child care. In this time of uncertainty and challenge, we are working in partnership with child-care providers to find creative solutions in the community.”
To ensure dedicated child-care spaces are available and prioritized for health-care and other essential front-line workers while also following public health recommendations for social distancing, the Manitoba government will:
• establish a new $18-million grant program to help early childhood educators affected by the suspension of child-care services in centres to have access to immediate funds to begin independently offering child-care services at their homes or in the community;• continue to provide licensed child-care centres with their full operating grants and subsidies, totaling up to $7.6 million provincewide, so that they can provide care for up to 16 children with first priority given to children of health-care and other essential workers;• invest $2 million to create a trust that will provide capital grants to child-care providers to ensure safe, quality care; and• encourage all centres to reimburse prepaid fees to parents for child care they can no longer access during this difficult time.
The province is partnering with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to administer the $18-million grant program.
The $2-million fund will be administered by The Winnipeg Foundation.
Further information on all of these programs will be provided online at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.