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Manitoba’s Southern Health Region is under Code Red Restrictions beginning Monday, Nov. 9.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, made the announcement at a news conference on Friday, citing increased cases as the reasons for the tightened restrictions.

“As we can see, our cases have gone in the wrong direction,” he said.

“We are seeing more cases, more strain on the health care system, and so further action is required.”

The new restrictions in the Southern Health Regions include:

  • Closing restaurants and bars except for takeout and delivery;
  • Limiting cultural or religious gatherings to 15 per cent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less;
  • Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to 50 per cent capacity;
  • Limiting most retail business to 25 per cent capacity or five people. These limits don’t include employees;
  • Closing movie theatres and concert halls;
  • Closing recreation facilities, including indoor and outdoor sports facilities;
  • Closing VLTs and other gaming establishments;
  • Suspending non-urgent and elective surgeries and diagnostics. Patients will be notified if their surgery is affected; and
  • Suspending in-patient visits to hospitals or health centres with exceptions on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life care, labour and delivery and pediatrics.

The province noted that designated family caregivers can still visit personal care homes, but general visitation might be suspended with exceptions for end-of-life care. General visitation to outdoor visitation shelters will also be implemented once it’s operational.

“It is the intent that these new orders will halt the spread of the virus, decrease the transmission of the virus in the community,” Roussin said.

The province is also encouraging businesses in the Southern Health Region to allow staff to work from home when possible, and for people to stay home when they’re sick and reduce their number of contacts.

- With files from CTV’s Danton Unger.