Winnipeg hands out second ticket for breaking COVID-19 public health orders

Coronavirus outbreak: Winnipeg officials discuss reopening golf courses, transportation routes
Winnipeg's assistant chief of emergency management Jay Shaw on Tuesday provided an update on the city's gradual reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that seven temporary patio registrations were processed over the weekend, certain golf courses have and will open up to the public, and five new active temporary transportation routes have opened on Tuesday.

City of Winnipeg bylaw officers have issued their second ticket for breaking public health orders during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The second ticket was doled out this week, but city officials said it stems back to April 29 when an adult male reportedly refused to stop skateboarding at the Sargent Park Skatepark.

City officials say the man was with a group of around 10 at the park when a bylaw officer approached around 8 p.m. to let them know the park was closed due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: Winnipeg to resume some services amid COVID-19 as Manitoba moves to reopen

While others in the group started packing up to leave, Jason Shaw, head of the city’s emergency operations centre said the accused became “verbally aggressive and defiant.”

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“He continued to use the facility and at one point came within approximately three feet of the officer, violating social distancing orders,” said Shaw Tuesday.

“The accused would not comply with officers’ request to leave and refused to provide identification when requested.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg to keep sports fields closed, expand cycling routes during coronavirus

The man eventually left, but, with help from Winnipeg police, bylaw officers tracked him down and gave him a ticket at his home Monday.

The penalty for violating a public health order is a $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail, said Shaw.

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The first ticket for breaking public health orders during the COVID-19 outbreak was also handed out to a man who refused to stop skateboarding at a city-owned skatepark last week.

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Skateparks, along with city-owned facilities including play structures and picnic shelters, tennis courts, basketball courts and athletic fields, have since reopened as part of the province’s plan to loosen restrictions during COVID-19.

Those new rules went into effect Monday.

Under the new guidelines bars and restaurants are allowed to open patios, with strict rules around occupancy, and Shaw said the city processed seven applications for temporary patios over the weekend.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman stressed Winnipeggers still need to follow social distancing rules — and not gather in groups of more than 10 — under the new provincial guidelines.

READ MORE: Winnipeg businesses prepare to reopen as province loosens COVID-19 restrictions

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“As the province continues to move towards opening parts of our local economy, we know that more people will be out in the community and we all need to remain vigilant,” Bowman said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

“That means residents can get together with family on a city-owned soccer field and kick a ball around while maintaining physical distancing, but that does not mean a full team soccer game.”

New active transportation routes open

At the press conference the city also said a previously announced expansion of its annual bicycle and active transportation routes is now in effect.

The streets now designated as active transportation routes include:

  • Lyndale Drive – Cromwell Street to Gauvin Street
  • Scotia Street – Anderson Avenue (at St. Cross Street) to Armstrong Avenue
  • Wellington Crescent – Academy Road (at Wellington Crescent) to Guelph Street
  • Wolseley Avenue – Raglan Road to Maryland Street
  • Assiniboine Avenue – Bedson Street to Westwood Drive
  • Churchill Drive – Hay Street to Jubilee Avenue
  • Egerton Road – Bank Avenue to Morier Avenue
  • Kildonan Drive – Helmsdale Avenue to Rossmere Crescent & Larchdale Crescent to Irving Place
  • Kilkenny Drive – Burgess Avenue to Patricia Avenue and Kings Drive

The routes limit motor vehicle traffic to just one block throughout the designated area and will be in place daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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The city stresses the roads are not closed and cyclists and pedestrians should use caution and continue to follow the rules of the road.

The city says it will re-evaluate at the end of May to determine if the designations need to be extended.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.