Manitoba government issues survey to learn how public wants to reopen as COVID-19 vaccination rate increases
Dr. Roussin notes end is not here yet, so people must continue adhering to public health orders
The provincial government is seeking Manitobans' input on how it should begin returning to normalcy as COVID-19 vaccination uptake continues to climb, while protecting the threat to public health.
The province released a survey Friday afternoon asking whether people are afraid of contracting COVID-19 and how fearful they are that a loved one will contract the illness. It asks people about their vaccination status and how they feel about the province's vaccine rollout so far.
The survey asks how people's lives would be impacted if certain things were reopened to people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and what they would like to see reopen first.
One of the questions, for example, asks how being able to travel within Canada without self-isolation, attending events and visiting loved ones in personal care homes or hospitals would improve an individual's quality of life, assuming they are fully vaccinated.
The survey will help inform Manitoba officials about how the public would prefer to reopen, assuming vaccine numbers continue to increase, Premier Brian Pallister said in a news release.
Public health officials reported four more COVID-19 deaths and 329 new cases Friday. There are now 4,191 known active cases throughout the province.
Provincial data shows there are 293 Manitobans in hospital due to the illness.
There are 166 total COVID-19 ICU patients from Manitoba, according to a Shared Health spokesperson.
As of midnight Friday, there 125 patients in Manitoba ICUs. The pre-pandemic capacity was 72 patients, the spokesperson said.
Forty-one ICU patients have had to be sent to Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
In the provincial news release, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer, noted the ongoing strain on the health-care system and urged Manitobans to continue adhering to public health orders in order to avoid high case numbers.
But more people getting vaccinated means "an easing and eventual end of the restrictions" is on the horizon and, eventually, people's lives will get "some sense of 'normal,'" he said.
The current public health orders are set to expire June 12. Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba's acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, said Friday he doesn't expect restrictions to loosen much when they next expire.
With files from Bartley Kives and Nicholas Frew