The province is now considering lifting some restrictions and is first looking to the public for their opinion on what should change.
Premier Brian Pallister announced a survey, available on government’s EngageMB website, that asks Manitobans what’s important to them and asks questions about people’s perspectives on the risk of the virus, COVID-19 vaccines and their comfort levels with different activities.
“These orders are working, thanks to the willingness of Manitobans to follow them,” Pallister said during a news conference alongside Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. “At the advice of Dr. Roussin and our health care leaders, we are now in a position to consider reducing some restrictions and safely restoring our services and activities that so many Manitobans have sacrificed throughout this pandemic in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community.”
Roussin said restrictions and the elevation to Code Red under the pandemic response system in early November have saved 1,700 lives based on modelling the province has done.
The most stringent rules have been in place since Dec. 12, when public health orders shuttered all but non-essential businesses and limited products that those deemed essential could sell as the province’s numbers painted a grim portrait.
Those ran through Jan. 8, and without the full picture of how the holiday season would impact the epidemiology, public health extended the restrictions for another two weeks. They are set to expire on Jan. 22.