Winnipeg businesses locked down as virus cases soar

Bars, restaurants, theatres closed as Manitoba hits highest-per-capita COVID-19 infections in Canada with new cases of 480 in a single day

Flin Flon Reminder
October 30, 2020

Winnipeg retail centres may empty as lockdown bites. | City Square
— Winnipeg retail centres may empty as lockdown bites. | City Square

Manitoba announced a staggering 480 new cases of COVID-19 on October 30, leading to restrictions across the province and a "red" lockdown level in Winnipeg.

No announcements have yet been made by the province for possible support for businesses and groups affected by the sudden shutdown.

Each of Manitoba's five health regions reported a double-digit uptick in new cases Friday, including a Winnipeg French immersion school where 14 people tested positive.

To combat the accelerating spread of COVID-19, the province has moved most regions of Manitoba into new levels on the provincial pandemic response system.

Winnipeg's rules and restrictions will be the tightest. Effective midnight November 2, all bars and restaurants will be closed, except for take-out and delivery services, while sports and recreation programs will be suspended. Most retail locations will be capped at 25 per cent capacity and gyms and fitness facilities will also be capped at 25 per cent - masks will be mandatory at all gyms, including while people exercise.

Movie theatres and concert halls in Winnipeg will be closed and non-urgent and elective surgeries will be suspended. Personal services will stay at 50 per cent capacity maximum. Visitation has been suspended at all hospitals, with exceptions made for some cases including end-of-life care, labour and delivery and pediatrics.

All faith-based gatherings in Winnipeg, including churches, mosques and synagogues, will be limited to either 100 people or 15 per cent capacity - whichever is smaller.

“If we limit our contacts and stay home, we could see drastic reductions in transmission within weeks,” said Manitoba chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin in an October 30 press release. 

Elsewhere, Manitobans will be subject to 50 per cent capacity in restaurants and bars, public and private group gathering sizes limited to five and retail stores limited to 50 per cent capacity. Mask use will continue to be mandatory in public settings and sports and recreation facilities will be capped at 25 per cent capacity.

- Eric Westhaver reports for Manitoba’s Flin Flon Reminder

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