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PCs Must Act Now to Blunt Covid Wave - Vaccine Mandates, Masks and Tests

Treaty 1 Territory, Métis Homeland, Winnipeg, MB - With the Omicron variant spreading through Winnipeg and the rest of the province uncontrolled, the Manitoba Government immediately needs to implement measures to blunt the wave of patients who will be hospitalized or end up in ICU.

Canadian Military projections are that hundreds of thousands of Winnipeggers may currently be infected with Covid-19. While vaccination rates and previous infections may reduce symptoms, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface Dougald Lamont said he is concerned that won't be enough to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed when staff can't work while patient counts rise.

Lamont said he has been receiving hundreds of e-mails from Manitobans, which are cc'd to the Premier and PC MLAs, pleading with the government to do more to protect Manitobans.

"We have doctors, teachers, businesses and parents all asking us to push the PCs to do more - in fact, they just want the PCs to do something," said Lamont. "The PCs have been dithering while cases have exploded. We need new vaccine mandates, new measures, and new supports immediately to protect people, our health care system and our economy."

  • Rapid tests must be made freely available and KN95 masks distributed through pharmacies and doctors offices, not just Liquor Marts

  • New vaccine mandates for staff working in long-term-care, education, employees at businesses with high public exposure, schools and ELCC centres, and for people wanting to buy Cannabis or alcohol

  • New supports for workers and businesses - $100 a day for individuals if people cannot work or need to stay home to self-isolate with children

  • Triage Protocol for Manitoba Hospitals

  • New restrictions to reduce contacts

Lamont said the PCs and others have been reckless by playing down how severe Omicron variant can be, when it can infect so many people at once that more people are at risk of being sent to ICU. He said the PCs are continuing to cater to "anti-vaccine" messaging.

"We are living in a public health state of emergency and the PCs have been indulging people refusing life-saving vaccines. These vaccines are keeping people out of hospital, out of ICU and out of an early grave," said Lamont.

Currently, the Manitoba Government's own Covid dashboard makes it clear. Even though vaccinated Manitobans massively outnumber people who are unvaccinated:

• For every vaccinated person who ends up in hospital with Covid, seven people who are unvaccinated do

• For every vaccinated person who ends up in ICU, 26 unvaccinated people do

• For every vaccinated person who dies of Covid, 14 unvaccinated people do

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