WINNIPEG - Leaders across Canada are urging citizens to celebrate spring break and Easter safely, with Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Health Officer warning of the risks posed by large groups and non-essential travel. Dr. Brent Roussin says virus transmission during holiday gatherings took the province into a dark place in the weeks that followed this past Thanksgiving, and that the healthcare system is in a race to prevent that from happening again as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues amid the spread of variants of the virus.
Roussin says it’s especially important that people stay home when they're ill. As the province remains at the Critical - or Red - pandemic response level, officials are strongly recommending that people stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings, especially indoors, to minimize their close contacts. But Roussin says he is expecting that the end of the pandemic, when Manitobans will be able to safely resume their normal ways of recreation and celebration, will come soon.
Meanwhile in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning Canadians that they “ just need to stay strong a little longer” as more contagious variants of COVID-19, as well as hospitalizations, continue to rise elsewhere the country. He's asking Canadians to refrain from gathering or having parties in the weeks ahead.
“We must do our utmost to avoid an increase after Easter if we want to stay in the best possible position this spring,” Trudeau says. “I know that it’s disappointing, but we must avoid gatherings.” But Trudeau also says he believes the country is “entering the final stretch of this crisis."