COVID-19 Update — June 23, 2021
In today’s message you will find:
- COVID-19 Situation and Vaccine Update
- Restrictions loosened
- Two more Vaccine Town Halls this week
- More questions answered at ManitobaVaccine.ca
- Travel restriction changes
- Support Public Health Physicians
COVID Surveillance Update
Since our last update on Monday:
- Daily cases continue to come down: 184 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified since Monday, including 123 today. The total case count in Manitoba now stands at 55,589.
- Test positivity continuing to decrease: the five-day test positivity rate is 7.1%, down from 8.0%. It is 6.6% in Winnipeg, down from 6.9%.
- Active cases continue on a downward trend: There are 1,789 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, down from 2,075.
- Hospitalizations are coming down, but remain too high: There are 209 people in Manitoba hospitals due to COVID-19, down from 231 . This includes 57 COVID-related patients in Manitoba ICUs, down from 58 on Monday. There are also 13 Manitoba patients in out-of-province ICUs, down from 15.
- Seven more people have died from COVID-19, including three today. The total of COVID-19 related deaths to 1,132.
Eligibility for second doses has expanded to include those who have received their first dose on or before May 31. It will expand again tomorrow at 11:45AM to include first doses received on or before June 6.
Several medical clinics, as well as some pharmacies, have received a limited supply of AstraZeneca to be used with patients who cannot or will not receive an mRNA vaccine for their second dose. The list of locations is maintained on the government’s website.
Today, Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin announced significant changes that will ease public health restrictions effective this Saturday, June 26. The announcement comes as Manitoba has surpassed the July 1 vaccination target ahead of schedule.
Over 71% have received first dose, over 28% have received their second dose, exceeding the 70%/25% target set for July 1. Public health officials also monitor COVID-19 surveillance indicators to inform decisions about easing restrictions.
While changes are occurring, Dr. Roussin stressed the pandemic is not over and variants of concern, such as Delta, are circulating. He reinforced the need to follow public health fundamentals, such as indoor mask use and physical distancing, even with some restrictions being lifted.
Privileges for Fully-Vaccinated Individuals
Fully-vaccinated individuals will be able to participate in the following activities:
- Dining indoors at restaurants and bars with other fully immunized family and friends from different households, though restaurant capacity will be limited to 25%
- Attending large outdoor sports and performing arts events, but the events must be approved by public health.
This builds on the existing privileges for fully-vaccinated individuals, including visiting loved ones in personal care homes and hospitals, and traveling domestically with no requirement to self-isolate upon return to Manitoba. You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after you have received your second dose.
Individuals under 12 will follow their parents’ vaccine status as they are ineligible for the vaccine at this time. This means parents can bring children under 12 to a restaurant, for example. The same exemption will not be available for children 12 – 17, despite the limited access to Pfizer right now.
Other Changes to Restrictions
Effective Saturday, June 26 at 12:01a.m., the following changes will be made, though COVID precautions are still required such as indoor mask use and physical distancing.
Social and community gatherings:
- Outdoor gatherings on private property will double to up to 10 people, and outdoor visitors can briefly access homes for essential activities (e.g. to use a washroom).
- Outdoor gathering in public places, like parks, will increase to up to 25 people.
- Indoor faith-based services and organized community gatherings can resume at 25% capacity to a limit of 25 people with masks worn at all times.
- Outdoor faith-based and organized community gatherings can resume for up to 50 people, provided distance can be maintained between households. Drive-in services continue to be allowed.
- For weddings and funerals, outdoor services may take place with up to 25 people, in addition to photographer and officiants. Indoor weddings and funerals remain limited to 10 people.
Businesses and services:
- Retail business capacity limits will increase from 10% to 25%, with a limit of 250 persons. There will no longer be any restrictions on the number of household members allowed to shop together.
- Personal services such as hair stylists and nail salons will be able to reopen at 50% capacity, but on an appointment basis only.
- Restaurants and bars will be permitted to reopen at 25% capacity indoors and 50% outdoors. Indoors, patrons must be same from the same household unless everyone at the table is fully immunized. For outdoor dining, tables are limited to a maximum of 8 patrons and can be from different households regardless of immunization status. Restaurants and bars will again have limited hours of operation.
- Indoor dance, music, theatre and other organized sports and recreation activities may reopen at 25% capacity to a limit of five people, with no tournaments allowed.
- Outdoor dance, music and theatre classes and other organized sports and recreation activities may reopen for groups up to 25 people, with no tournaments allowed.
- Swimming and wading pools, both indoor and outdoor, may reopen at 25% capacity.
- Gyms and fitness centres can reopen for individual and group fitness classes at 25% capacity with three metres distance maintained between individuals.
- Summer day camps may reopen to a maximum of 20 participants in groups.
- Indoor self-help groups can move from virtual-only to 25% capacity up to 25 people, with masks worn at all times.
What isn’t changing?
There are no changes to indoor household visits, which continue to be prohibited. As well, museums, libraries, theatres and casinos remain closed. Workplaces continue to be required to let employees work from home where possible.
Dr. Roussin stressed that while hospital capacity is improving, it is still stretched.
“While the case numbers and our health system are improving, the pandemic is not over and variants of concern, especially the Delta variant, are still circulating,” said Dr. Roussin. “This is why Manitobans need to continue to practice the fundamentals – washing your hands, physical distancing, wearing a mask, and getting fully vaccinated. Today’s reopening fits with the public health advice on where we are in the fight against the pandemic and where we still have to go.”
Town Hall Reminder
Our public Vaccine Town Halls have been going really well. You can help remind patients and the public to join us!
The following town halls are planned this week:
- Town Hall for All — Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 pm
- Town Hall for Steinbach and Southeastern Manitoba — Thursday, June 24 at 6:30 pm
Please help spread the word:Post on social media! We have social media graphics you can use. Try a supportive and inviting post, such as:
- Still not sure about the COVID-19 vaccines? You’re not alone. Join one of the vaccine town halls physicians are holding next week where doctors will respond to questions and concerns from the public. Learn more at https://www.manitobavaccine.ca/townhall/
Send a message to all of your patients inviting them to attend. You can use the images on our site and invite patients with questions to attend the town halls or to contact your office if they have questions or concerns.
You can watch past town halls here:
- Town Hall for Youth and Parents — Tuesday, June 22 at 6:30 pm
- Town Hall for Morden/Winkler and Southern Manitoba — Monday, June 21 at 6:30 pm
More Vaccine Answers Posted
With our vaccine ads in the field, and our vaccine town halls, we are providing Manitobans with facts about the vaccines from a source they can trust: physicians.
Based on questions doctors are hearing, we have added some new questions and answers to ManitobaVaccine.ca:
- Can existing drugs, like ivermectin, help prevent or treat COVID-19? Find the answer here.
- Can the COVID vaccines cause myocarditis? Find the answer here.
- Did the World Health Organization actually say children should not be vaccinated? Find the answer here.
International travel restrictions have changed. Fully vaccinated people (14 days out from a second dose) will be allowed to enter Canada with fewer restrictions starting July 5. Canadians, permanent residents and certain foreign nationals will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning if they received their second COVID-19 shot, or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, at least two weeks prior to entering the country.
Proof of vaccination will be required, as will testing before arriving and upon arrival. Restrictions for those who are not fully vaccinated remain unchanged. To review all travel restrictions for Canada click here.
Support Public Health Physicians
Public Health Physicians are central to analysis and actions that directly impact Canadians’ well-being, now more than ever. Public Health Physicians of Canada have developed a public awareness campaign to clarify the role and impact of Public Health Physicians, which you can read about here. You can help us spread the word about the campaign. Here are two ways you can help.
- Please like, share and comment on our campaign posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from your organization’s social media channels.
- Visit this page where you can download our campaign graphics, messaging and hashtags that can be shared directly through your personal and organizational social media channels.