November 52020

With COVID-19 cases surging in Manitoba, hospitals are being pushed to their limits. Doctors are worried ICUs could be overwhelmed within days. So we are urging everyone to stay home and limit your contact to help stop the spread.

Your actions today could save lives.

Dr. Kendiss Olafson, ICU Physician

I am urging all Manitobans to do what it takes to stop the spread of COVID-19, because your actions today can help save the life of your grandparent, parent, neighbour or friend. The rate of infection, hospitalization and death we are seeing today will be the tip of the iceberg if nothing changes.”

How can you help?

Physicians are urging Manitobans to follow the advice of Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer. His advice includes going further than the code red restrictions now in place in Winnipeg. These steps include:

  • Staying home whenever possible to limit contact with those outside of your household. If you can work from home, please do.
  • Designate one individual in your household to run only essential errands, such as grocery shopping.
  • Wear a mask at all times when outside of your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently and stay six feet away from people outside of your household.
  • Stay home if you are sick, even with mild symptoms, and get tested.

You can learn more about the fundamental actions that can stop the spread from Manitoba’s public health experts. You can also access a list of the current restrictions now in effect in each health region.

Dr. Cory Baillie, President of Doctors Manitoba

Physicians know that staying home and limiting your contact with family and friends is difficult, especially during a time when we are worried about each other’s well-being. We know that limiting business activity and faith-based gatherings is a major sacrifice. We would not be calling on all Manitobans to step up like this if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.”


Here are the answers to some common questions people may have:

1. Why is it so important to limit my contacts?

Limiting your contacts helps to limit the spread of COVID-19. Stopping the spread can save lives and protect our hospital resources to ensure beds are available for those who are critically ill.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, has advised:
We need to stay home, keep our distance and make a necessary collective sacrifice to protect all Manitobans. We have pleaded with Manitobans to follow the fundamentals and to significantly reduce their contacts… to halt the spread of this virus in order to ensure our health-care system is there for those who need it.”

Premier Brian Pallister has urged Manitobans to limit their personal contacts by 75% for at least the month of November.

2. How long do I have to limit my contacts?

The faster we can slow the spread, the shorter these more extreme measures have to be in place. This will not last forever. Physicians know it’s difficult to limit seeing family, friends and neighbours. We wouldn’t be asking Manitobans to help unless this was serious. It is.

3. Locking down again is going to be hard. What can we do to make the most of it?

It is not easy to limit your contact with family and friends, but staying home doesn’t mean social isolation and boredom. Make the most of extra time at home by:

  • Keeping in touch with family and friends with video calls
  • Trying a new hobby
  • Binge watching a popular show on your favourite streaming service or read more
  • Enjoy outdoor activities
  • Protect family time for members of your household
  • Focus on your physical wellness

If you are struggling with isolation, feeling stressed or anxious, contact your physician for virtual counselling or consider the provincial virtual therapy program.

4. What if I have a medical issue? Should I wait to seek care?

Please do not put your health on hold, because that can lead to complications. Call your doctor and get advice about seeking care. They may be able to offer you a virtual visit by phone or video. If you have to come in for an in-person visit, they are taking extra precautions to protect you.