While we thought it would be a time to pause, as we were told there would be no new public reports for COVID-19 for a few days over the Christmas break, that changed this morning with Dr. Roussin and Audrey Gordon in another press conference.
The latest variant, omicron has resulted in high case numbers have health officials in Manitoba worried. Dr. Roussin spoke of some 700 new cases to report today. A record.
However, he did not announce additional new restrictions right now. But definitely new advice.
Roussin did tell the public on this newscast that omicron replicates and spreads extremely rapidly and said that if you come down with the sniffles, any cold symptoms, assume you have the virus. Stay home.
He also advised that a backlog (some 10,000 tests) in the government’s test analysis means that no one should use that service for travel testing. He wants those who are ill and who have vulnerabilities to be able to get a test when they need it.
There are private test sites that the public can access for a fee.
The press conference pattern always involves a presentation from both the public health doctor, Roussin, and often Health Minister Audrey Gordon, as was the case today.
Always, members of the press who are there in person, or on a zoom link, are allowed one question and a follow-up. Surprisingly, today one particular reporter harangued Roussin and Gordon with an accusatory tone along a repeated line of questions.
Our appointed and elected public health representatives took time on Christmas Eve because they felt it was important to alert the public, to advise us and to ask for cooperation in a respectful and adult fashion. The event will has been streamed live at http://news.gov.mb.ca and http://youtube.com/ManitobaGovernment.
See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ53typGTnk
Surely Manitobans want to avoid more people becoming ill and the associated strain on the medical profession – who also deserve time off at Christmas.
I think we all want that. No one wants friends or loved ones to become ill.