Dr. Brent Roussin says changing attitudes about going to work when sick is important in this pandemic.
The culture of working until you can not is being discouraged as COVID-19 continues to be an issue in the province. Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief public health officer, says Manitobans cannot go to work or school when they are sick.
"It is challenging because we have all done it. I have done it. You just cannot do that now."
He says people who continued to go out when sick can, and have, spread the virus to others.
"It has caused many contact investigations and a lot of testing. It has huge implications for us."
Roussin says the act of going out when sick is why Manitoba's economy is going to be restricted even further. The doctor is set to announce further restrictions in Winnipeg on Friday afternoon.
"We all want to be in a place where we do not need restrictions and staying home when we are ill is going to get us there a lot faster."
Roussin says it is tough to follow the fundamentals all of the time, but that it is required to keep others safe.
For those who do stay home when they are sick, there are challenges that accompany the day at home. Employees typically have a limited number of sick days and if someone has children they may need to use a sick day to care for the child.
Children also cannot go to school or daycare if they are ill.
A second challenge to taking time off of work for a sick day is some employers require a negative COVID-19 test to come back to work. Dr. Brent Roussin says this is a systemic problem.
"Testing measures are already strained."
Roussin says workplaces ideally would have a system in place to allow employees to be at home when they are feeling ill.
If someone takes a COVID-19 test and is discovered to be COVID-19 positive, Public Health will decide when the person can stop isolating and return to work. They determine this based on daily phone calls o the individual. The province does not require a negative COVID-19 test for the person to be identified as a recovered case of COVID-19.