Manitoba extends COVID-19 state of emergency once again

Manitoba's state of emergency has been extended once again for another 30 days in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

No new cases of COVID-19 in the province for 13 consecutive days

Manitoba has been under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus since March 20. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Manitoba's state of emergency has been extended again in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The extension takes effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday for another period of 30 days.

The province has been under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus since March 20, and has renewed it every month.

A state of emergency, under the Emergency Measures Act, gives the province more powers to respond to the pandemic as it sees fit.

No new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the province for 13 consecutive days. Since the first case was found in mid-March, there has been a total of 325.

As of Monday, there is one active case in the province with no one in hospital; seven people have died and 317 have recovered.

Concern about COVID comeback

Asked about the rationale behind continuing the state of emergency in light of the low numbers in the province, Premier Brian Pallister said "we're all optimistic, we're all hopeful, but we're realistic, too.

"We've seen the COVID comebacks around us. We're seeing the highest case reports ever in seven [U.S. states] in the last couple of days," he said.

"Around the world, COVID comebacks are rampant in a number of jurisdictions. It's here."

He praised Manitobans for the effort they've made in containing the spread and said he would love to provide an optimistic view for the future.

"But I think it would be dangerous to be communicating, overly, a sense of optimism about the long-term prospects that this COVID challenge presents us," Pallister said.

At the same time, Travel Manitoba has launched a campaign to encourage people outside of Manitoba to visit the province this summer. In a Twitter post, the agency says, "We've all done our part and we are now open for business."

Asked if he is concerned about that, Pallister said no.

"I think there's an equal and opposite concern that if we close our borders out of fear, we will suffer economically and socially," he said. "So it's a balancing act. Promoting Manitoba I think is the right thing to do."

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