Province shuts down non-critical businesses for two weeks, case number jumps to 96 Two children under 10 test positive for COVID-19

The chief provincial public health officer ordered more non-critical business to close and announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total in Manitoba to 96.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/03/2020 (1163 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The chief provincial public health officer ordered more non-critical business to close and announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total in Manitoba to 96.

“The threat to public health cannot be prevented, reduced or eliminated without taking special measures,” Dr. Brent Roussin’s written order states.

Until this afternoon, the province had not provided detailed age and gender breakdowns for Manitobans testing positive for the coronavirus.

A chart posted on the government’s website shows that Manitoba’s 96 cases include a boy under the age of five and a girl between five and nine years old. 

A total of 25 people testing positive have been in their 20s — 17 women and eight men — the most of any age group.

The new order is in effect from Wednesday to April 14 and means bars and hair salons will have to close but Liquor Marts and grocery stores are still in business — as long as they follow social-distancing guidelines — and restaurants can remain open, but only for takeout and delivery, Roussin said Monday at a press conference with Premier Brian Pallister.

Chart of cumulative daily positive tests for COVID-19 in Manitoba


“This announcement is not an easy thing to do but it’s the right thing to do,” Pallister said. He could not say how many businesses would be affected by the new 14-day order, which was accompanied by a 74-point list of which type of businesses are considered critical.

Critical businesses under the Public Health Act

The most recent order under the Public Health Act lists 74 business types as ‘critical businesses’ and exempts them from the mandated closure between April 1-14, 2020. 

Supply chains

1. A business

(a) that provides another business listed in this Schedule with goods or services necessary for the business to operate, including transportation and logistics management relating to those goods or services; or

(b) that supports or facilitates the two-way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and global supply chains.

Retail and wholesale

2. A business that provides, either by wholesale or by retail sale, food or household consumer goods necessary for the safety, sanitation or operation of residences and businesses. Such a business includes a grocery store, supermarket, convenience store, butcher shop, bakery, market, hardware store and any other similar wholesale or retail business.

3. A business that provides personal protective equipment or protective clothing for use in the workplace.

4. A business that provides essential goods and services for the health and well-being of animals, including animal feed, pet food, and animal supplies such as bedding.

5. A gas station or other business that provides diesel, aviation, propane, heating fuel or other fuel used to power a motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft.

6. A business that provides office supplies and services. The supplies and services include computer products and related repair and maintenance services for businesses and for individuals working from home.

7. A business that holds a retail liquor licence, a manufacturer’s licence, including a manufacturer’s licence with a retail endorsement, or a retail cannabis licence or that is authorized by the Government of Canada to produce cannabis.


8. A hotel or motel or a business that provides rental units or similar living accommodations, including student residences.

Institutional, residential, commercial and industrial maintenance

9. A business that provides support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties, and includes

(a) property management services, including residential snow clearing;

(b) services provided by skilled trades, such as plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians;

(c) custodial or janitorial services and cleaning services;

(d) fire safety and sprinkler systems installation and monitoring; and

(e) similar services provided by other service providers.

Telecommunications and information technology

10. A business that provides telecommunications services, such as phones and cell phones, internet services and radio, as well as support facilities necessary for support and service delivery, such as a call centre.

11. A business that provides information technology, and includes online services, software products and related support services, as well as technical facilities such as data centres and other network facilities.

Communications industries

12. A business that provides information through radio or television broadcasting, telecommunication services or newspaper publications.


13. A business that provides transportation services necessary for the activities of daily living.

14. A business that provides transportation services to other businesses or individuals by road, rail, air or water, including a business that provides logistical support, distribution services or warehousing and storage, or truck stops.

15. A business that services or repairs vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, bicycles and includes car, truck and farm equipment dealerships and related facilities and auto supply stores and other similar retail businesses.

16. A business that provides towing services or roadside repair assistance.

17. A business that provides goods and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of the road, rail, air and water transportation systems.

18. A business that provides maintenance services such as clearing snow and completing necessary repairs to the transportation system.

Manufacturing and production

19. A business that manufactures or processes goods or materials, including a component manufacturer or a business that produces inputs used by another manufacturer.

Agriculture and food production

20. A business that is engaged in farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, producing or distributing food or farm products such as crops, animal products and by-products or beverages.

21. A business that is engaged in fishing, hunting or aquaculture.

22. A business that supports the food supply chain, including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal processing plants and grain elevators.

23. A business that supplies agricultural producers with necessary products or services, such as seed, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, agricultural equipment, custom application of herbicides and pesticides and the repair of agricultural equipment. 

24. A business that supports the safety of food, including animal and plant health and animal well-being.

25. A business that provides veterinary services or that supplies veterinary or animal control medications and related supplies and testing kits.

26. A business involved in ensuring the safe and effective management of animal waste, and includes a business responsible for the disposal of dead animals, rendering, nutrient management and biohazardous materials treatment or disposal.


27. A business engaged in construction work or services in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors, including demolition services and expanding, renovating, converting or repurposing existing spaces.

28. A business engaged in construction work or services that are required to ensure safe and reliable operations of provincial and municipal infrastructure.

29. A business engaged in construction work or services that supports environmental rehabilitation projects.


30. A business engaged in the capital markets.

31. A bank, credit union or caisse populaire.

32. A business that is a payday lender or a cheque-cashing service.

33. A business that provides insurance services, and includes the adjustment of insurance claims.

34. A business that provides pension services and employee benefits services.

35. A business that provides financial services, including any of the following:

(a) payment processing;

(b) the payroll division of any employer or an entity whose operation is the administration of payroll.

36. A business that deals in securities or manages financial portfolios.

Natural resources

37. A business engaged in the extraction or processing of natural resources, such as minerals, forest products, oil and gas, or aggregates, including a business engaged in the production or sale of biofuels.

38. A business engaged in natural resource exploration and development.

39. A business that provides supplies or materials used in the natural resource sector.

40. A business that supplies or ensures the supply of natural resources, such as petroleum and petroleum by-products or aggregate, to other businesses.

41. A business that supports the health and safety of natural resource extraction or processing operations. 

Environmental services

42. A business that supports environmental management or monitoring services or that provides environmental clean-up and response services or services in respect of industrial sewage or effluent, and includes environmental consulting firms, septic haulers, portable toilet suppliers, well drillers, pesticide applicators and exterminators.

43. A business that provides laboratory services in respect of water or wastewater.

44. A business engaged in waste collection or recycling, waste and sewage treatment and disposal, the operation of a landfill or hazardous waste disposal.

Utilities and public works

45. A business that operates a utility, and includes a business that provides goods, materials and services needed for the delivery of utilities, such as potable drinking water, electricity and natural gas.

46. A business engaged in or supporting the operation, maintenance or repair of provincial or municipal infrastructure, such as railways, dams, bridges, highways, erosion control structures and water control works.


47. A business that maintains research facilities and engages in research, including medical research and other research and development activities.

48. A business that provides goods and services that support research activities.

Health care, seniors care and social services

49. A business that provides land medical emergency response services, air medical response services or stretcher transportation services.

50. A business that provides home care services.

51. A child and family services authority and a child and family services agency.

52. A business that operates a personal care home, supportive housing or an assisted living facility.

53. A business that provides personal support services in home or provides residential services for children or for individuals with physical or mental disabilities, including developmental disabilities.

54. A business that provides or supports the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals, including food banks, family violence and abuse shelters, homeless shelters, community housing, supportive housing, services that promote or protect the welfare of children, services to newcomers, and custody and detention programs for persons in conflict with the law.

55. A business, including a pharmacy or other business, engaged in the manufacturing, wholesaling, distribution or retail sale of pharmaceutical goods and medical supplies, such as medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals, medical devices and medical supplies.

56. A business engaged in providing logistic services or manufacturing or distributing goods or services that support the delivery of health care, and includes a business that provides laboratory services. 

57. A business that provides mental health or addictions supports or services, such as counselling.

58. A business that provides goods or services that support the health sector including the sale, rental or repair of assistive devices, mobility devices or medical devices, and other similar devices or supplies.

Justice sector

59. A business that provides professional or social services supports in the justice system.

Professional services

60. A lawyer, paralegal, accountant, translator, veterinarian, engineer or geoscientist.

61. A regulatory body of a profession.

Other businesses

62. A business that provides rental and leasing services, including renting or leasing automobiles and commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment.

63. A business that provides mailing, shipping, courier or delivery services, including post office boxes.

64. A business that operates a laundromat or provides dry cleaning or laundry services.

65. A business that provides funeral, mortician, cremation, transfer or burial services, or any related goods and products such as coffins and embalming fluid.

66. A business that operates a land registration service, provides real estate services or moving services.

67. A business that provides security services, including private security guards, or provides monitoring or surveillance equipment and services.

68. A business that provides staffing services, including temporary help.

69. A business that provides tax preparation services.

70. A business that provides travel consulting services.

71. A business that supports the safe operations of residences and critical businesses.

72. A business that provides arboriculture or lawn care services.

73. A business that provides for the health and well-being of animals, including farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers.

74. A business that provides child care services for essential workers, and home child care services provided for eight or fewer children.

They are listed as: supply chains moving goods; retailers and wholesalers selling goods needed for the “safety, sanitation or operation of residences and businesses”; accommodations offering rental units; maintenance businesses; telecommunication companies; communications companies such as news media outlets; transportation services; manufacturing and production; agriculture and food production; construction; finances; natural resources; environmental services; utilities and public works; research; health care; justice; professional services such as engineers, lawyers and veterinarians; and other businesses such as tax preparers, temp agencies and lawn-care outfits.

“We want to ensure we have the necessary goods and services still available to Manitobans while enhancing our messaging about social distancing,” Roussin said.

While restaurants can’t allow customers to dine in, they can offer takeout and delivery service but must ensure customers waiting for food orders keep the required two-metre distance from each other, for example.

To arrive at a list of critical businesses, Roussin said they looked at other jurisdictions and looked at the types of businesses they included and excluded in their orders “and then we took time here to put a Manitoba lens on it, and we had a lot of engagement from many partners to look at what an appropriate list is.”

He said orders will be reviewed to see what’s working and what isn’t and if any changes need to be made.


Monday’s order replaces his order from last Friday and continues to limit public gatherings to no more than 10, including places of worship and family events such as weddings and funerals and excluding places where health care or social services are provided, including child-care centres and homeless shelters.

“We are seeing the ongoing transmission of this virus in other jurisdictions,” Roussin said.

“We need to continue to adapt our response to this virus. These measures are another step to limit transmission of this virus and to flatten the curve.”

The 14-day order will be extended if necessary, he said.

When asked if his government would help businesses that are forced to close and risk permanent closure because they can’t take on any more debt or avail themselves of federal support in time, Pallister said his government is waiting for more detail from the federal government.

“Certainly, other programming possibilities are on the table and being examined,” he said.

“We’re mostly focused right now on making sure we’re prepared as we can be to protect the health and well-being of Manitoba and of vulnerable Manitobans, in particular,” he said.

After the chief public health officer announced the new Public Health Act order Monday, the province announced it will authorize the sale of liquor with takeout and delivery meal service by licensed restaurants.

“These businesses have been significantly impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and by allowing this flexibility now, restaurants will be able to offer an additional service to customers when it is needed most,” Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton said in a news release.

The message from Manitoba health officials and political leaders got louder and more urgent Monday.

Roussin urged Manitobans not to travel, not even to the cottage.

“Right now is the time for social distancing,” he said. “Now is the time to stay home if you can. The other issue there is travelling to the cottage, to rural areas where you might be seeking health care should you need (it), could potentially overwhelm those areas, should you get ill.”

And Shared Health’s chief of nursing said cancer surgeries are being postponed if the delay won’t result in a negative outcome.

“We’re looking at each individual case,” Lanette Siragusa said. “We would not delay that surgery if it was going to result in a negative outcome.”

Critical businesses

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.


Updated on Monday, March 30, 2020 9:05 PM CDT: adds info and chart about age and gender breakdowns for Manitobans testing positive for COVID-19

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