Police in Winnipeg say they are taking aim at pandemic partygoers in the region as Manitoba reported another 374 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Premier Brian Pallister said this week that private gatherings throughout the provincial capital were fuelling transmission and that he’d need help from police and RCMP to enforce a curfew if it’s decided that the Winnipeg region needs one.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Winnipeg Police Service Const. Rob Carver said that those who decide to defy provincial rules by holding house parties or other large gatherings will face fines.
“We’ve been doing education [about the public health orders] for a long time and the numbers have continued to go up,” Carver said. “So now, we will be focusing less on education and more on enforcement.
“I think the time for education has passed here. The numbers are terrible.”
On Wednesday, Manitoba also reported 140 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, which is 10 more than the day before. Two more deaths were also announced.
In the province, the Red Cross has been asked to provide staff to help care for residents at some long-term care homes dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.
Faced with rising case numbers, B.C.’s health minister and a top public health official on Tuesday reminded people in the province to keep gatherings small, saying “much of the recent transmission” in the province has been connected to get-togethers.
“This is particularly important in the Fraser Health region where public health teams are asking everyone to avoid all social gatherings in your home right now — even those that are within the restrictions of the provincial health officer order,” a statement from Health Minister Adrian Dix and Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said.