Doctors Manitoba is urging everyone in the province to again help slow the spread of COVID-19 to avoid overwhelming hospitals and health services.

The Omicron variant is fueling rapid community transmission at a level we have not seen before,” said Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba. Our hospitals were already being stretched before Omicron arrived, and if it continues to spread as fast as we are seeing our ICUs could be overwhelmed within days or weeks. That’s why we are asking Manitobans to help slow the spread of the virus, so we can spread out the impact on the health system.”

The acute increase in patient volumes comes at a time when hospital staffing is more vulnerable, both because of employee attrition during the pandemic and the increased risk staff absenteeism due to COVID-19 infections or exposure. Dr. Thompson added that this is creating a perfect storm’ scenario and it’s why physicians are more worried than ever about our health system being overwhelmed.” 

Like most other provinces, Manitoba has re-introduced tighter pandemic restrictions on public and private gatherings. The government’s pandemic restrictions really are a minimum, and we are asking Manitobans to go even further to help slow the spread and reduce the risks,” noted Dr. Thompson. 

Doctors Manitoba recommends the following additional steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Reduce your contacts beyond the amount permitted in public health orders by postponing gatherings with other households or shifting them to virtual. If an in-person gathering with another household is being held, take steps to make it safer by reducing the number of guests, improving ventilation, and wearing masks when possible. A complete list of suggestions can be found at Doc​tors​Man​i​to​ba​.ca/​c​e​l​e​b​r​a​t​esafe.
  • Decrease the time spent in indoor public places by ordering online, using curbside pick-up or opting for delivery, but Manitobans are encouraged to #BuyLocalMB.
  • Stay home when ill, even if symptoms are mild. Check the latest public health advice for COVID-19 testing, as testing capacity may be prioritized for those most at risk during increased demand. 
  • Get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are eligible. Talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine, or find one nearby at Man​i​to​baVac​cine​.ca.
  • Employers should re-instate work-from-home arrangements wherever possible, at least for the next few weeks. 

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