Online Provincial Pandemic Response System Launched to Inform, Guide Manitobans on COVID-19

August 19, 2020 – BACKGROUND INFORMATION
New Public Health Preparedness Tool Will Keep Manitobans Safe: Premier

The Manitoba government has launched the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, a new public health online tool that connects Manitobans with clear, timely, and more detailed and localized information about the current risk of COVID-19 and the specific measures being taken to reduce its spread, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Keeping Manitobans safe is our government’s top priority in these uncertain times,” said Pallister. “Equipping Manitobans with the information they need to stay safe while restarting our economy will help ensure we are better prepared to navigate through the COVID challenges ahead. That is what our new Pandemic Response System is designed to do.”

This new online tools allows public health officials to apply and effectively communicate with Manitobans specific changes and related pandemic containment measures by localized site, region or sector as needed. This will allow targeted measures focused on containing any outbreaks, instead of applying provincewide restrictions. This ensures public health remains a top priority while minimizing impacts on the economy and services for Manitobans.

The #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, the first of its kind in Canada, is based on a series of COVID-19 indicators monitored by public health officials to give Manitobans a clear and detailed picture of the situation throughout the province at all times. Those COVID-19 indicators include health system capacity, public health capacity, risk of outbreaks in vulnerable settings and risk of importation of cases.

The four colour-coded response levels are:
• (red) critical – community spread of COVID-19 is not contained and/or there are significant strains on the health-care system;
• (orange) restricted – community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring, public health measures are being taken to manage the negative impact on human health and/or the health system;
• (yellow) caution – community transmission of COVID-19 is at low levels; and
• (green) limited risk – the spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment is available.

The system launched with a provincewide level of ‘caution’, meaning COVID-19 is still a threat across Manitoba, but community transmission levels are low. There are multiple and isolated clusters of cases which are mostly contained. For more information on the COVID-19 indicators and the four response levels, visit https://manitoba.ca/covid19/prs/system.html.

“We must learn to live with this virus, and be prepared to both respond and adapt to changes in the transmission risks COVID-19 presents,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. “The Pandemic Response System is a key preparedness tool setting out what Manitobans must do, at each response level, to help reduce risks and minimize the spread of this virus.”

The site outlines steps Manitobans should be taking at each response level, as well as public health orders and guidance for businesses, service providers and other sectors.

At all response levels, Manitobans should continue to follow the public health fundamentals. Those include:
• always stay home when sick, even if mildly ill;
• enhanced hand hygiene;
• maintain physical distancing; and
• wear masks in public indoor settings where physical distancing is not possible.

The #Restart Pandemic Response System supports the Manitoba government’s roadmap to recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit http://www.manitoba.ca/restartMB.

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